Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet have been playing rebellious and unapologetic Jazz for the past three decades. Anyone familiar with this group is definitely aware of their high-flying improvisations that can launch at any given moment. “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul” is a perfect example of freeform at it’s best with each instrumental voice being defined with purpose.
For 20 of those years, piano player Joey Calderazzo and bassist Eric Revis have been a staple in the group. Drummer Justin Faulkner has been with the band for about 10 years respectively. I have to say that the band has reached another pinnacle tending to a collection of moods with motivating commitment. Faulkner’s chops are crisp and smooth. Calderazzo goes ahead and smokes the ivories and Revis’s bass line is fluent and on point. Marsalis outdoes himself on this album, his phrasing is sharp and endless. Each member of the quartet compliments each other the way an improv band should.
“Life Filtering from the Water Flowers” is Marsalis’ one and only composition on this album and it is of true Marsalis form. This arrangement displays a cleverly organized instrumentation with very moving and contained sax riffs only Marsalis can phrase. Calderazzo’s piano playing and Faulkner’s drumming help convey the message Marsalis is bringing across. “Life Filtering from the Water Flowers”, compliments the album as a reflective tribute to his late mother Delores Marsalis.
“The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul” is a definite must-have for all Jazz fans. The creativity of the improvisation tangents in each song is truly an original compilation that cannot be duplicated. This album is an enjoyable and innovative listen that features some engaging moments of Jazz Improvisation. This album serves as a perfect example as to why the Brandfors Marsalis Quartet is held in such high regard for the past 30 years.
I Absolutely love this album. The DIVA Jazz Orchestra is an ensemble of fifteen extremely talented and versatile female musicians, that swing, with a “Big Band” sound that will completely leave you thirsting for more. The fact that this band is comprised entirely of women, makes it a melting pot for talented musicians who remain greatly under exposed to define and express themselves in such a male dominated industry. They are hard charging, powerful and their anniversary project album is all that and more. Every song on this album swings with vibrant sound and stellar soloists that really take charge. This twelve song collection contains all original compositions by its members. The precision of each contribution to the project, highlights the alliance of skill by each musician, beyond their exceptional playing artistry.
The first track on the album is “East Coast Andy” which really sets the mood for the entire compilation. The melody is performed with an excellent woodwind section surrounded by a strong brass section. Each section of band hits, show how tight a band can be after playing together for twenty-five years. Jami Dauber’s trumpet solo is marvelous and stirring. The solo is full of blues tonality over the medium-tempo of solid swing. Baritone sax player Leigh Pilzer’s is just buzzing with the full rich language of Jazz, which is the heart and soul of this song and all of the other pieces on this tremendous work.
A 25th anniversary is a rare milestone in the music world today. Band leader Sherrie Maricle, is the driving force behind this Jazz machine of excellence. The DIVA Jazz Orchestra goes above and beyond the label of an just another all-female band. This is all about a combined sound and force of women who have worked hard for each of their accomplishments as players and game-changers in the industry today.
People ask me all the time if there is a particular Jazz album for a specific occasion or “What’s a good album to sit back and just chill to”? I make a ton of recommendations because there is a lot of Jazz out there. One album that really stands out to me is “Fishing for Compliments” a blend of Cool, Swing and Smooth Jazz all rolled up into one hell of an album created by tenor sax phenom Scott Kreitzer. Kreitzer is accompanied on this album by one of the best rhythm sections in the business today, including: Kenny Washington, David Finck, Andy Ezrin and Kreitzor’s mentor, Ira Sullivan. Each artist in this combination, compliment each other throughout the entire album the way only true Jazz masters can. This compilation is flavored with all of the various influences throughout Scott’s Career such as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown, and Ira Sullivan.
Just a little about the man behind this album, a current New York City Resident, Scott is originally from South Florida and started his musical journey on the clarinet when he was twelve years old. At the age of fifteen, Scott was introduced to the tenor sax and Jazz legend Ira Sullivan, who later became his mentor. When Scott turned nineteen he ventured off to New York City where he was able to study with Joe Lovano, Eddie Daniels, and Bob Mintzer, while he was still able to continue his education at William Paterson College.
“Fishing for Compliments” is on of those albums that can be played on any occasion for any type of mood. Whether your throwing an exclusive dinner party or you need to come down after a stressful day, this album is the perfect answer for any situation. Have a listen, swing and enjoy!