Branford Marsalis Quartet – The Secret Between The Shadow And The Soul
- Release details
On "The Secret Between The Shadow And The Soul," legendary American saxophonist and Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis' quartet - the Branford Marsalis Quartet - discovers the power of simple melodies
Working with singers like Kurt Elling and Sting over the past few years, Marsalis learned what a central role simple melodies play. "Working with Kurt for a year and a half reminded me of what I learned from a gig with Sting," Marsalis says. "Working with a singer changes you without you realizing it. I focused more on the melodies and getting down to business," Marsalis explains
"My approach to composing, like my solos, is much more oriented to melody and rhythm, with the harmonic side coming third," he points out. "We design the harmonies after the melody, whereas a lot of others focus on the harmonies. And we play in the gaps in between."
You can hear this new approach in every song on the album. Whether it's in the elegantly serene "Cianna" by Joey Calderazzo, the wild twists and turns of "Dance of the Evil Toys" by Eric Revis, or the delightfully musing "Life Filtering from the Water Flowers" by Branford Marsalis, the quartet gives the melodies of all the pieces room to breathe, playing with clarity and structure in big arcs and contexts
"Sonny Rollins showed how to play each piece with a huge vocabulary and how to use the sound of your instrument," Marsalis points out. "We, on the other hand, are all about sound and the ability of sound to evoke emotion. When you're dealing with sound, you never play something the same way twice. You listen to each other, and every song is different."
The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul confirms Branford Marsalis' view: the album is sophisticated, exciting and anything but defensive - this great band sounds better than ever.
"... This is brilliant, elegant, hardly better realized, great art within the framework of the formally known." (Audio, April 2019)
"Between eruptive free improvisations and Latin ballads with earworm appeal, New Orleans groove and Monk's staggering stride: this album is a delight." ('Recommendation of the Month' in Fono Forum, May 2019)