On Contemporary Jazz, Branford Marsalis shows clear evidence that he’s far from satisfied in his quest for excellence on his horns and with his composer’s pen. Writing with an exceptional sense of rhythm in particular, Marsalis churns out an eight-chapter gem with this outing. Though he’s become a real contender on the soprano saxophone, Contemporary Jazz is a straight, tenorsax quartet date. Marsalis regales in his quartet’s company, which has become a real band now that pianist Joey Calderazzo and bassist Eric Revis have been fully indoctrinated in the keen communication between Marsalis and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. That communication is now a four-way roundtable, making this band one of the most impressive working today.
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