Branford Marsalis

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Renaissance

One of Marsalis’ early albums on which he was apparently ‘just practising’, as I once heard him say, this nevertheless remains my favourite of his albums, and I’ve heard a fair number of them; Metamorphosen is the best of recent years. Renaissance features lots of advanced, hard-swinging solos, propelled by the always prominent Tony Williams on drums; the tunes are great too. Marsalis’ highly refined, almost synthesized-sounding tenor really lets loose with some passionate and technically impressive displays, and pianist Kenny Kirkland sounds inspired throughout; ‘Lovestone’ and ‘Citadel’ are the most typical and enjoyable tracks.