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One year in, the Branford Marsalis - Kurt Elling partnership flourishes / Financial Times

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When Branford Marsalis invited Kurt Elling to record the album Upward Spiral with his long-running quartet, he gained a front-line partner as well as a charismatic vocal lead. Elling doesn't just interpret a song, he inhabits it, drawing out its character through phrasing, note choice and tone. As the CD also proved, he is an ideal foil for the trenchant lyricism of the saxophonist's aesthetic. One year on, and the partnership flourishes. At this long, single-set performance at the barcian - London, vocals intertwined with sax, mood-soaked harmonies were bittersweet and solos dug in, veered off at angles and stopped on the point of a pin.

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