STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Mirth and Melancholy with Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo

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This week, our video spotlight shines on saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo, who will be in St. Louis for a duo performance on Sunday, January 22 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

In June of last year, Marsalis and Calderazzo released Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, a duo CD on the saxophonist's Marsalis Music label. This tour essentially is a followup to that recording, which received favorable reviews such as this one from Jazz Times' Jeff Tamarkin and this one from's Mark F. Turner.

However, although Marsalis and Calderazzo have worked together in the former's quartet for nearly 14 years now, their duo project is new enough that there's not much video documentation of it online. They did make a series of promotional clips, featuring interview footage and some audio excerpts, in conjunction with the release of Mirth and Melancholy, and you can see the first of those, “Inspirations and Methods," in the embedded window up above.

Two more of those promo clips, “Focus on What the Song Requires" and “Playing Together is Enough Inspiration" can be seen down below. (A fourth clip, about the material selected for the album, already was featured in this space as part of the recent winter/spring 2012 jazz preview.)

Performance clips from the duo's concerts to date seem mostly limited to short snippets of a minute or two, but there is one full length performance online of a song from the CD, a version of “Hope" recorded in 2010 at the Detroit Jazz Festival. (The gig was actually a show for Marsalis's quartet, but although bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner are present on stage, their contributions to “Hope" are brief and limited to some discreet swells under Calderazzo's piano.) You can find “Hope" in the fourth window, and to round things out, there's an audio-only clip of another piece from the album, “La Valse Kendall," in the fifth and final embed window.

For more about Branford Marsalis and additional clips of the quartet in action, see this video showcase post that ran before his last St. Louis gig in February 2010 at the Touhill.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.

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