Branford Marsalis Quartet - Metamorphosen

Date: 04.24.2009
Publication: The Week
Author: John Swenson


There are no subpar tunes on Metamorphosen, said Dan Ouellete in Billboard. That’s just what you’d expect from the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Together for more than a decade, the stellar group - which includes drummer Jeff Watts, bassist Eric Revis, and pianist Joey Calderazzo - demonstrates a “sense of intuitive ease and adventure that comes with longevity.” Metamorphosen plays like a conversation between old friends, distinguished by its vivacity, “whimsy, mystery, and lyricism.” Throughout, the quartet remains both loose and “imposingly self-assured,” said Nate Chinen in The New York Times. Marsalis, on sax, is still driven by the same concepts that have defined his career: “strong melody, tumultuous yet unambiguous rhythm, and a resiliently pragmatic relationship to the jazz tradition.” He gives each player time in the spotlight, and every song “highlights a facet” of this remarkable band. Watts plays with “exploratory intensity,” while Calderazzo evokes melancholy with two of his own ballads, “The Blossom of Parting” and “The Last Goodbye.”

Submitted by Josh on April 24th, 2009 — 12:25pm