Sunday, 16 July 2017, 19:30
A true musical partnership – the Branford Marsalis Quartet share their freewheeling and joyous take on the Jazz tradition with the voice of one of the world’s most gifted vocalists, Kurt Elling.
The voice of Elling is an instrument unto itself, displaying an absolute mastery of Jazz style, from playful scat to poignant melancholy. He is showcased here not as a special guest, but as a fifth member of the group, engaging in a musical dialogue with the unparalleled lyricism of saxophonist and band leader Branford Marsalis, expressively backed by pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner. Together, they perform songs from their collaborative album Upward Spiral, ranging from Gershwin to Sting to Antonio Carlos Jobim, alongside original songs from Marsalis and Elling themselves.
Branford Marsalis has long considered finding a vocalist to meld with hard-hitting style of his quartet, and his ideal candidate was always the flexible, versatile voice of Kurt Elling. After meeting in a bar, the pair decided to embark on this partnership, with each bringing songs to the table. The result is Upward Spiral, a dynamic journey in Jazz, taking in timeless standards and new compositions. This concert – their only UK performance – showcases their open, accessible and compelling take on the Jazz idiom.
‘Sophisticated and nuanced’ AllMusic
‘Brilliantly cohesive’ Jazz Times