Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
News on the Rail
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Excellent sextet recording
Troy Collins | Lancaster, PA United States | 11/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Composer and multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich, widely considered the most melodic of the Downtown improvisers, has assembled a sextet for his second Palmetto release. With numerous collaborations to his name, Ehrlich is often thought of as a small ensemble musician. Despite his predilection for smaller line-ups, such as his long running Dark Woods chamber trio and two quartets - the piano-less Traveller's Tales and his more traditional piano based quartet. On "News on the Rail" he acquits himself admirably with substantial writing for a larger ensemble, in this case, an all-star sextet.
With legendary multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson on tuba, baritone sax and bass clarinet to hold down the low end of the spectrum and James Zollar on trumpet to act as his exuberant foil, Ehrlich limits himself to alto sax and clarinet instead of his usual arsenal of horns. Ubiquitous bassist Greg Cohen joins pianist and melodica player James Weidman and drummer Allison Miller as the sextet's close-knit rhythm section.
Working in a number of genres, Ehrlich sets out to document his compositional side with this slightly larger group. Here he displays not only his melodic writing, but a talent for ear-catching counterpoint. Right from the outset of the opener "Enough Enough", Ehrlich's taut writing comes to the fore, with tricky interweaving lines and a boisterous attack, the six assembled musicians sound like a group twice their size. James Zollar leads off with a biting, brassy statement that spearheads a short string of solos for the rest of the group, acting as an introduction to the sextet. On "Hear You Say" the sextet delves into a down home blues vamp complete with funky tuba driven backbeat and a surprisingly effective melodica solo from Weidman that complements Zollar's growling, gutbucket trumpet and Ehrlich's tart, smeary alto. Ehrlich demonstrates his knack for modernism with the sparse, but gradually intensifying "Light In The Morning (Many Thousand Gone)". The bulk of the album follows in a swinging advanced post-bop vein, such as "Dance No.2". With its odd, funky time signatures and swirling unison horn lines capped by Ehrlich's fervent alto solo, it is easily an album highlight. Chart driven with subtle Latin influences, the leader's lyrical clarinet and equal solo space for the rest of the ensemble, "Seeker's Delight" precedes the somber ballad closer, "Keeper of the Flame (In Memory of Sam Furnace)" which takes the album out on a serious but heartfelt note.
Although often thought of as an intense melodist and gifted small group improviser, Marty Ehrlich here demonstrates an affinity for writing larger form pieces that utilize advanced counterpoint and rich harmony, without ever leaving behind the core sing-song melodies he is best known for. "News On The Rail" is one more example of why Ehrlich is one of the leading lights of the contemporary jazz scene."
Marty back on track
Speedy | Fl, MO USA | 11/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best outing by Ehrlich since the C/D/E cd. Great modern jazz compositions which feed from the tradition, be bop and mainstream elements. Great playing from everyone and especially Marty."