Entertainment Weekly - 4/2/99, p.95
"...Musically, it shifts between neo-hard-bopping intensity and a yearning lyricism. All told, an inspiring set that showcases Marsalis' expressive fluidity and lends a rueful, finalizing punctuation mark to Kirkland's brilliant and too-brief career."
- Rating: B+
JazzTimes - 6/99, pp.95-6
"...Branford's finest to date....His bold tone and remarkable fluency on tenor are matched by a driving momentum and an abundance of ideas..."
Branford Marsalis Quartet: Branford Marsalis (saxophone); Kenny Kirkland (piano); Eric Revis (bass); Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums).
Recorded at The Music Hall Theatre, Tarrytown, New York. Includes liner notes by Keith Jarrett, Delfeayo Marsalis and Branford Marsalis.
REQUIEM was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group.
Every Branford Marsalis album is an important event. His strength of tone, musical conviction and dynamic personality have made him one of the most highly acclaimed figures in modern jazz. REQUIEM is Marsalis doing what he does best; leading a straight-ahead quartet session with plenty of space for powerful solos. With his good friends and regular bandmates--Kenny Kirkland (piano), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums), Eric Revis (bass)-by his side, the saxophonist is at the peak of his artistry.
The hard-bopping "Doctone" opens the set, immediately showcasing Marsalis' prowess as a first-rate improviser. Next, Paul Motian's "Trieste" displays the quartet's ability to construct several textures and moods within a single composition. Turning to his soprano, Marsalis plays with a happy tone on the radiant melody of "Lykief." Watts' New Orleans-style funk groove drives the dynamic "Bullworth" for a spicy change of pace. In an energetic show of fearlessness, the blistering "Elysium" is performed as a sax-bass-drums trio with no chordal support. Sadly, that configuration foretold a tragic future; REQUIEM was the last recording by pianist Kenny Kirkland before his untimely death in 1998.