Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Branford Marsalis Quartet
Over the years, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has put on some terrific concerts at the Paradise Jazz Series. One example, is the 2017 concert with jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, featuring music from the album “Upward Spiral.” The performance hit musically on every conceivable level, and you left that concert feeling a  spiritual awakening. Some of the music at the quartet's Friday night opening performance for the 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series was too way out. The quartet performed a few well-known standards and cuts from their recent album “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul,” starting the concert with the “Dance of the Evil Toys, ” one of several esoteric compositions from bassist Eric Revis. Marsalis joked while introducing one of Revis' tunes that it's the kind of music you play when you don't want to get paid. Many times the quartet switched from  slower tempo numbers to the way out, making it seem as if  you were experiencing two different concerts. On those way out numbers, pianist Joey Calderazzo, and drummer Justin Faulkner whaled on their instruments like mad-men, which seemed to unnerve some of the audience. The concert had two noteworthy moments. The quartet’s bluesy treatment of the oldie “Sunny Side of the Street,” and the mini-reunion of Marsalis’s former bandmates Jeff “Tain Watts,” Robert Hurst, and Terence Blanchard on a hip take of Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm-a-ning.”