Branford Marsalis, Four MFs Playinâ€™ Tunes (Marsalis Music)
The Marsalis quartet achieves openness without abandoning harmonic guidelines, hipness without complex chord permutations. A saxophone soloist who manages to meld aggressiveness and wryness, Marsalis is at his peak here. The delight that he, pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and young drummer Justin Faulkner find in supporting and surprising one another is likely to also affect the listener. The tunes are by members of the band except for Thelonious Monkâ€™s â€œTeoâ€ and Richard Whitingâ€™s â€œMy Ideal,â€ the latter with a tenor solo that combines tenderness and wit. A highlight: Marsalisâ€™s â€œTreat it Gentle,â€ recalling Sidney Bechetâ€™s passion on soprano, but not his wide vibrato.