August 13, 2011 12:44 am

Branford Marsalis/Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Haunting sax entwines with rhapsodic piano in this largely original repertoire

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has an equally full-bodied tone on this lovely studio recording with pianist Joey Calderazzo, but here the emphasis is more on melodic purity and the cadences of classical romance than urban grit. Marsalis and Calderazzo are long-time associates, and develop their largely original repertoire with warmth and mutual respect. Haunting sax entwines with rhapsodic piano, hovers over spaciously voiced harmony or erupts over bursts of stride. There’s a yearning “Hope”, a frolicking “Endymion” and a brief “Die Trauernde”. Perfect for a summer reverie.

Branford Marsalis/Joey Calderazzo

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

(Marsalis Music)

4 stars

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