Music Review: Two new jazz albums | EW.com

Music

Music Review: Two new jazz albums

We review Branford Marsalis's 'Contemporary Jazz' and the Wynton Marsalis Septet's 'The Marciac Suite'

Saxist Branford Marsalis, looser and fresher than ever, comes out swinging with his powerhouse post-hard-bop quartet. Reclaiming ”Contemporary Jazz” from the vapid smooth-jazz camp, they blow mightily. The Wynton Marsalis Septet, meanwhile, successfully links the Souths of France and America on The Marciac Suite. The New Orleans native, long a hero at the Marciac festival, honors the host town with a well-conceived suite for his Septet. Joy, brains, rhythmic flexibility — even educational worth — spill forth in a cerebral gumbo spiced with joie de vivre.
Jazz: B+
Suite: A