The flu couldn't stop Branford Marsalis from soaring at The Pabst Theater

Branford Marsalis
On Milwaukee

For more than 30 years, saxophonist Branford Marsalis has brought his innovative, melodious jazz stylings to the studio and stage. Marsalis comes from an extraordinarily talented musical family. The eldest son of 84-year-old renowned New Orleans jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, Branford's siblings include trumpeter Wynton, trombonist Delfeayo and drummer Jason Marsalis.

An accomplished saxophonist, Branford Marsalis has worked with a number of diverse musicians, including Sting, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and The Grateful Dead, and has performed classical pieces with the New York Philharmonic and North Carolina Symphony. In 2006, Berklee College of Music presented Marsalis with an Honorary Doctorate of Music.

Thursday night, the Branford Marsalis Quartet (Joey Calderazzo, piano; Eric Revis, bass; and Justin Faulkner, drums) treated its Pabst Theater audience to a versatile performance which included a number of songs from the group's latest album, the critically-acclaimed "The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul," released in March.

"We're happy to be back in Milwaukee, especially since the weather is treating us so well," Marsalis, smartly dressed in a tan suit coat, white button-down shirt, and dark brown trousers, quipped to the audience, referring to the wintry April weather. Although the majority of concert attendees seemed to be over 35, this reviewer noticed a handful of people in their late teens and early 20s. (It's nice to see young people enjoying jazz music.)

Although the saxophonist confessed to the audience that he was recovering from a flu bug that had also struck Faulkner and the quartet's tour manager, illness didn't slow the band down one bit. Faulkner in particular displayed almost superhuman drumming chops on frenetic songs like "Dance of the Evil Toys."
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