Branford Marsalis – Eternal
(Marsalis Music – 2004)
by John Thompson
To the Artist: Branford Marsalis, I’d like to congratulate you for releasing a wonderful cd that should be talked, written, and screamed about, called Eternal. I understand that this is your second release on your own label, Marsalis Music, and also this CD is produced by you.
I feel there is no need to talk about any of the songs in particular, because each is so very strong. One of the original points about the disc is that there are no up-tempo songs to be heard, as they all are mellow tempos. Even the cd cover is one of the most beautiful and fitting towards the music that I have ever witnessed. The casual jazz listener may refer to it as “mood” or “romantic” music, while the serious jazz lover would recognize it’s contribution as a extremely high form of expression. I can imagine this scene: candlelight and wine for two with Eternal playing. The casual listener whispers, “Ah, romance,” and the other says, “WOW DID YOU HEAR THAT PHRASING?” … That’d be me.
By employing some of the best musicians, yourself on alto and soprano saxes, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums, the quartet is able to respect the overall presentations of each artist and exist in such sync. Also it is impressive that four of the seven tracks are composed by each band member. Finally, to dedicate the cd in memory of such icons as Elvin Jones, James Williams, and Ray Charles was special to see. Again, thank you for art done right. Sincerely, 5 stars.