Branford Marsalis Quartet | Symphony Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Branford Marsalis Quartet 

When: 2009
Price: $24-$83
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has kept this quartet together for a decade now, and that long shared experience has helped it develop the awesome power and agility that drive the new Metamorphosen (Marsalis Music). Marsalis, pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts all wrote tunes for the session (they also cover Monk’s “Rhythm-a-Ning”), which shows off each player’s individual personality, from Calderazzo’s gauzy balladry to Watts’s explosive postbop, but everyone’s so plugged into the ensemble’s processes that they maintain a nonchalant unity no matter whose voice they’re expressing. This is one of the greatest working bands in mainstream jazz. Watts couldn’t come on this tour, unfortunately, but Marsalis has picked a replacement, 18-year-old Philadelphia prodigy Justin Faulkner. —Peter Margasak

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