If this new group Marbin is indeed indicative of what MoonJune identifies as a "recently surging Israeli-grown jazz scene", then we're in for some fusion good times, boys and girls. Anchored by the old Pat Metheny rhythm section of Paul Wertico and Steve Rodby (which the more adventurous among us may well remember in the unusual Sign of 4 release with Derek Bailey and Metheny going poly-apeshit while Wertico and Gregg Bendian waxed angular on skins and allsorts), guitarist Dani Rabin and sax player Danny Markovitch present a blend of Passport, Mezzoforte, and the old Italian and Euro jazz fusion ensembles among a spate of many influences.
A Serious Man tosses klezmer into the mix, though it can be heard frequently throughout many tracks, especially in Markovitch's sax, but more than a few of the passages are vaulting and high-blown, esp. the entire opening cut, Loopy, and I'd swear there's a generous infusion of keyboards there as well, but the credits cite none, so the probability is that Rabin is triggering outboards from his guitar, perhaps Markovitch as well. Bar Stomp is appropriately Waitsian and Weillesque, a bleary guttural lurch through backwater alleys on chill serpentine nights with questionable friends. Burning Match trots out an arabesqued blues, but one that's pierced with hope more than melancholy, an urban longing for the next horizon.
Claire's Indigo is an interesting exercise in Bundles era Soft Machine or Time is the Key period Gong, that decade when the prog-generated New Age wrinkle threatened to infuse itself back into the mother source and become something very interesting all on its own. That didn't really happen but takes like Marbin's indicate what should've occurred. Vocalist Daniel White sits in on the lengthy closing cut, but his mode, tone, and flat register remind a bit too much of Episode's Nick Peck for comfort, lyrics likewise, a slow trudge to some dreary destination. Though the song clearly exhibits the strikingly flute-like tone Markovitch can achieve on his sax, it's nonetheless not the best denouement to the disc. The rest of the disc, however? Slammin.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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