The Branford Marsalis Quartet has built its reputation by bringing intensity to each and every one of its live and studio performance. Says Marsalis, "Even if people don't know what we're doing, they'll feel what we're doing." Those sentiments are echoed unanimously by the group members with their newest CD, "Four MFs Playin' Tunes", the first recording by the quartet with the electrifying young drummer Justin Faulkner, who joined the band three years ago and has been impressing audiences and critics alike during the band's live performances. Core fixtures Joey Calderazzo on piano and bassist Eric Revis round out the group on a program of ambitious originals by the band members, a Monk classic and a standard dating to 1930.
In their native Great Britain, Get the Blessing are much beloved for taking the 'j' word by the scruff of the neck and giving it a good shake. The romantic rumors that the BBC Jazz Award-winning contemporary quartet met at an Ornette Coleman Appreciation Society in Bristol could easily be true. The band's unique performances hark of the rich Bristolian melancholy that revolutionized British pop music, yet reflect esoteric variations on where jazz as we know it has come from and is heading. The backbone of the band for their third CD, "OCDC", is bass player Jim Barr and drummer Clive Deamer, who double as the rhythm section for trip-hop band Portishead. The parallel assault of trumpeter Pete Judge and saxophonist Jake McMurchie complete the signature sound that defies classification.