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Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Branford MarsalisAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $16.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2011 $8.91  
Audio CD, 2011 $16.39  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. One Way 7:15$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Bard Larchrymose 4:32$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. La Valse Kendall 7:43$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Face On the Barroom Floor 4:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Endymion 6:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Die Trauernde 1:45$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Hope 8:53$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Precious 8:53$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Bri's Dance 8:06$0.89  Buy MP3 

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World-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis, born in 1960, has always been a man of numerous musical interests. The three-time Grammy winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world's most promising new and ... Read more in Amazon's Branford Marsalis Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Marsalis Music
  • ASIN: B004XD06UY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,332 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his Quartet's longtime pianist, Joey Calderazzo, share a collection of melodic songs on their latest release, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy. Born of an evolving love of music and set in the deep focus of serious listening and learning, it is full of virtuosity and joy, touching the listener with its expressiveness, melody, emotion; those elements of music that transcend genre and period and speak to us of inspiration and beauty. Comprised primarily of original compositions from each musician, a Wayne Shorter tune paying tribute to that great man and a nod to Brahms, the duo presented here provides the listener with a glimpse into their ever deepening musical journey.


In 'Songs of Mirth and Melancholy' Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition

It may have taken just three days to record, but this new duo recording from sax player Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo has 13 years of music-making behind it, dating back to when Calderazzo replaced the late, great Kenny Kirkland in the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1998. We've come to expect a superabundance of imagination from both these players, but in Songs of Mirth and Melancholy Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition.

Having finally decided to take the plunge and record a decision precipitated by a short, four-tune set at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival - what impresses most over the album's nine tracks is the sheer variety of treatment. Calderazzo's rollicking opener ''One Way'' presents a powerful mash-up of rolling boogie-woogie and Monk-like angularity (the melodic contrary motion leading to a crunching dissonance could be straight out of Monk s Brilliant Corners). The hushed intimacy of Marsalis's ''The Bard Lachrymose'', which references Prokofiev, Wagner and Schumann, deftly liberates the melodic line from the bar line, while the sparkling interaction and melodic subtleties of another Marsalis tune, ''Endymion'', make a striking centre piece.

As well as a sumptuous cover of Wayne Shorter s ''Face on the Barroom Floor'' (from the Weather Report album Sportin Life), there s also a tender interpretation of an early Brahms song, ''Die Trauernde'' (The Mourner), which Marsalis identifies as ''the inspiration for how we approach everything as a duo''. With its rhythmic ebullience and boldly drawn counterpoint, the album s sign-off, ''Bri s Dance'' - from Calderazzo's solo CD Haiku - is one of the most extraordinary things I've heard this year. And, as one has come to expect of all Marsalis Music releases, the album is beautifully recorded too. --The Arts Desk

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was worth the wait! July 15, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After more than a decade of working together, Brandford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo finally recorded this album of duets. Each contributed new material, and they also included two covers: Johann Brahms's "Die Trauernde" ("The Sad Maiden"), and Wayne Shorter's "Face on the Barroom Floor". (Charlie Chaplin created a short of the same title that illustrates the story--worth checking out on YouTube.) Mirth and Melancholy are both covered here, but emphasis is on the melancholy. "Hope," composed by Calderrazo, was previously recorded on the 2006 album Braggtown. It is very interesting to compare the two versions--I thought it couldn't be any more beautiful than the haunting first recording, but I was wrong. My uncle, a liturgical composer, identifies Branford Marsalis as "the one who can make a saxophone sigh." He does that here in ways that are almost unbelievable. Remember, the saxophone is a wind instrument with pressed keys. I literally do not know how he gets some of those sounds from that instrument.

My two other favorites on the album are "La Valse Kendall" and "The Bard Lachrymose." The first is a simple waltz, again written by Calderazzo, that evokes another, more romantic era. I honestly thought it was a very old song before I checked the notes. My youngest son says it makes him think of "moonlight, candles and a castle."

"The Bard Lachrymose," Marsalis's song, is so beautiful that my oldest son is trying to learn it on his saxophone as I write this, and his practice doesn't bother me a bit. "Lachrymose" also sounds like it comes from another time, as if John Dowland might have penned it during a sad moment.

If you like Branford's more progressive jazz side, you'll enjoy "Endymion.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! August 7, 2011
Format:MP3 Music
Will enjoy this music over and over. Heard them play a few songs last night at the OC Great Park in Irvine... under the stars with light breeze, these tunes easing thru the air was like being transported to Heaven. Had to stop by and purchase the whole thing!

You won't be sorry unless you don't buy it!
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet again June 9, 2011
Format:Audio CD
These two are the masters of the jazz the tradition of what they have been doing together since Eternal, Braggtown and Metamorphson....this is subperb...Branford on soprano as always the best...If you buy one jazz cd this year make it this one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saw them in concert together, had to buy the album August 14, 2012
By melwest
Format:Audio CD
When I bought tickets recently for a concert with Branford Marsalis, I had never heard of Joey Calderazzo. Oh goodness, what I've been missing! He is so sophisticated, so warm, such a perfect partner to Brandford Marsalis that I'm stunned they haven't done more albums together. This is a must buy album, period. This is the type of heart-felt, soulful, rich, sophisticated, warm, get the idea....excellent jazz that can bring tears to your eyes. This version of Eternal, which Branford says he wrote for his wife, is truly a moving love song. This is the type of music that gently demands you listen to with both ears, eyes gently closed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want more March 14, 2012
By Whalley
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Love the entire CD, but HOPE touched my soul in new places. Would love more collaborations between these two fine artists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful February 11, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Excellent record and beautiful songs. The sax and piano sounds very special . I love it and highly recomended it
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Combination of the Two September 29, 2013
Format:Audio CD
The first thing that ought to be said about this lovely disc is that, by and large, there is much more "melancholy" on offer here than "mirth". What ought next to be said is that the opening track, Calderazzo's jaunty "One Way", does not really give an accurate taste of what the remainder of the disc is going to offer. That having been said, this is a magical set of performances, performances that reveal just how in-synch Marsalis and Calderazzo are with each other and also reveals their love for classical idioms as well as their love of jazz. If you are a fan of either artist--in particular if you enjoy the classical-leaning side of Branford Marsalis highlighted on discs such as "Creation" or "Romances for Saxophone"--"Songs of Mirth and Melancholy" is an album that you are bound to cherish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good jazz!! April 24, 2013
By Georgia
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I wasn't really sure what to expect since I didn't preview it, but it's good. Great duo! Glad they decided to collaborate
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Joey C. didn't need this :-(
I really enjoy J.C. and occasionally B.M., but this was flat, pleading for help, Brandford seemed lost, like he didn't care where Joey was. Sorry J.C.
Published 15 months ago by Del
5.0 out of 5 stars Purity
There's something so clean and pure about Branford's compositions. I'm not a jazz expert, I just know when something goes in my ear and touches my heart, my head and my soul. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jim Madole
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite
Highly recommended not only for Marsalis/Calderazzo fans but also for those who are curious to find out what a collaboration of two masters on their instruments can yield. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kate Says
4.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Mirth and Melancholy
Nice packaging. Good sounds!! On Time. Well parcelled. Very reasonable. Thanks for the attention to detail.
I will recommend this company
Published 22 months ago by janine m lazarus
5.0 out of 5 stars The Twenty-first century's greatist jazz collaboration
Well are not outclassed by out past. May Marsalis and Calderazzo
continue to work together for a long time, and may they continue to
write and play music as beautiful as... Read more
Published on January 9, 2012 by David Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably one of the best jazz recordings from 2011
The level of intimacy and rapport in this recording is beyond compare. Even if you have not heard Branford Marsalis before, and you nevertheless like piano-sax duets (e.g. Read more
Published on December 26, 2011 by Simon Bolivar
5.0 out of 5 stars so quiet and stressless
except the first piece all this album is so quiet and peacefull, easy to listen, providing very beautifull melodies
very good sound
Published on September 25, 2011 by Gerald
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