“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.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to make homemade marshmallow Peeps
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Can these 4 couples really afford their dream houses?
- 10 things you need to know today: April 16, 2014
- How to be more satisfied with your life, according to science
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
Subscribe to the Week