Artist/ Band: Marbin
Title: Breaking The Cycle
Label: MoonJune Records
Year of Release: 2010
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Marbin are a progressive jazz band from Israel, made up of core members Dani Rabin (guitars) and Danny Markovitch (sax). Easy to see how they came up with their name. Both musicians are in their early twenties but sound like they have much more experience in the music world. They became friends with many big name Chicago jazz scene musicians back in 2007 and thus, with this CD release, you have Paul Wertico on drums, Steve Rodby on bass, and special guests Jamey Haddad (percussion), Matt Davidson (vocals), Leslie Beukelman (vocals), Maraya McCraven ( drums) and Daniel White ( lyrics and vocals). This is mostly a instrumental CD but there are two wordless vocals ( really nice ) and one song (#11 the last song called Winds of Grace) that has lyrical vocals by Daniel White that to be honest, sounds way out of place here. It sounds like a civil war folk sound. Nice to itself, but I had to get used to it as the ending song. Reminded me of the Mario Millo/Jon English ďAgainst The Wind OST. Which is great, but far off the jazz fusion path. To get you back into the frame of their CD , there is a hidden track after that ( still under #11 but itís a nice sax solo over nature sounds ) which will give the recording a proper ending, with gentle rain and thunder included.

Being a jazz fusion band from Israel might have everyone thinking it will be eastern oriented and although some of it does bring in the middle eastern style for sure, much of it also runs around in the ECM jazz world of Terje Rypdal and Pat Metheny. So you can rest assured of some great playing and variety of styles all in Marbinís 11 songs. The first song starts off in a very busy Middle Eastern fusion piece that is very full of percussion and layers of sound. This is quickly followed by a very Latin influence light and melodic song. It features the Jan Garbarek sounding sax work of Danny Markovitch. You get the wordless voice of Leslie Beukelman on the 3rd song. Matt Davidson comes in with harmony voice. Itís very soothing and nice. A great breaker for the next bluesy jazz cut that you almost expect someone like Tom Waits to start singing on. Yep, has that dark alley sound, trash cans and all. They also have more variety such as African influenced rhythms on another song. You get the idea.

The thing I noticed first listen, is the two main members (Dani and Danny) donít hog or even stay up front on many of the songs. They let the other musicians shine. Meanwhile, the core members make sure they play what makes the song sound itís best. The way a great musicians should see it always. I was surprised at how much the music changed in atmosphere and style. I was expecting a Pat Metheny mellow jazz record all the way for some reason. But this CD takes you off into different lands and settings. One song even made me feel like I was in Spain at a funeral for a famous bullfighter. Yeah, itís like that. In the end, this recording is really good and I truly enjoyed being taken around the world and hearing top notch musicianship along each mile.

Fans of Terje Rypdal and Jan Garbarek should take notice of song 7 ( Burning Match). Superb and moody with that nice developed song structure... and the end soaring guitar lead will give you the gleam back in your eyes ( after the odd last release of Rypdal ďCrime SceneĒ that made me scratch my head). The song following (#8-Claireís Indigo) reminds me a lot of Perigeo or Transit Express at their more exotic softer moments.

I was impressed with the array of music here, and I was happily surprised at the quality of the entire CD. You can order this from Wayside Music if you want a great progressive jazz CD with some superior musicianship and consistently moving themes. I felt refreshed after listening to it. Especially when I heard that hidden track at end of "Winds Of Grace".

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on March 29th, 2011

Tracks:

01. Loopy (5:59)
02. A Serious Man (3:49)
03. Mom's Song (2:05)
04. Bar Stomp (3:04)
05. Outdoor Revolution (3:08)
06. Western Sky (2:12)
07. Burning Match (5:11)
08. Claire's Indigo (2:11)
09. Snufkin (2:48)
10. Old Silhouette (4:12)
11. Winds Of Grace (8:39)

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