NOTEWORTHY: “Footsteps of Our Fathers” by Branford Marsalis Quartet

Branford, the oldest and most exploratory of the Marsalis brothers, launches his new label with his most ambitious recording to date. He isn’t just invoking the giants of modern tenor sax, he’s playing their most demanding extended compositions–Sonny Rollins‘s “Freedom Suite” and John Coltrane‘sA Love Supreme.” Marsalis rises to the challenge handily. “Freedom Suite” is all rhythmic nuance and kinetic blues, sly wit, and subtle swing, played with just bass and drums, as was the original. Marsalis previously recorded “A Love Supreme” in 1994 on Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, but the results are far superior here, as he’s grown into the emotional dimensions of Coltrane’s suite.

The extended solo on “Resolution,” and the even more intense exploration of “Pursuance,” mark high points among Marsalis’ recordings. This is just as much an achievement for his remarkable band, with solid support from pianist Joey Calderazzo and bassist Eric Revis, and, above all, the consistently fresh and sometimes explosive drumming of Jeff “Tain” WattsOrnette Coleman‘s “Giggin'” and John Lewis‘s “Concorde” bookend the major works. Stuart Broomer | Amazon

At your leisure, check out this bop jazz gem “FOOTSTEPS OF OUR FATHERS” by Branford Marsalis Quartet

Whaling City Sound announces the release of a new Greg Murphy recording COOL WATER

Greg Murphy’s COOL WATER

It is glad tidings indeed that Whaling City Sound announces the release of a new Greg Murphy recording. In fact, the news is almost as joyous as the sound of Murphy’s piano. Cool Water is both heartwarming and exhilarating. Greg’s fingers find delicate and exciting ways of expressing themselves across the keys. It is the sound of a blissful talent given a new lease in both life and career, as well as the opportunity to rediscover his true and glorious gift.

The recording opens with the ebullient Chim Chim Che-Ree, segues into a chancy take on Steely Dan’s Green Earrings, careening through a battery of brisk melodies and beautiful playing, including the astonishing Cuttin Trane’s Corners, a dark, surprising cover of Wayne Shorter’s Lost, and the funk-filled closing celebration, You Decide. Featuring Murphy bandmates Jeff Tain Watts on drums, Eric Wheeler on bass, and a bevy of special guests, Cool Water is just that, long and fresh, a ride with the top down, rife with optimism and full of freedom and discovery. Greg Murphy is clearly glad to be back and playing music again, and we should all be thankful for it. ~Editorial Reviews | Amazon