TONK placed in at number five in the Jazz Time’s Top 50 Albums of 2013.
Check it out at this link - http://wglt.org/music/jazz/jazz-next.php
Thanks to GLT Jazz Next and Jon Norton.
Jazz Society of Oregon
Tonk – A Tribute To Ray Bryant, Vol. 2; Lenny Marcus, piano, flute, vocals.?Ray Bryant had a certain open, bluesy sound with chords seemingly from heaven. It turns out that Bryant, who passed away in 2011, was Lenny Marcus’s teacher and mentor and a best friend of Marcus Sr. So it’s entirely sensible that Marcus should follow his earlier RB tribute with Volume 2. His basic trio of Rick Eckberg, bass, and Larry Scott, drums, is augmented here and there with additional instrumentation. And Marcus keeps these proceedings squarely in Bryant’s corner with a very bluesy orientation and a swinging menu from the first notes. How could he do otherwise on a tribute to this great Philly giant? There are 16 tunes in all, ranging from evergreens such as “C Jam Blues,” “Old Devil Moon,” and “St. Louis Blues,” to Bryant blues specials such as “Slow Freight,” “Up Above the Rock,” “Break Tune in G,” and two of Ray’s best, “Blues #2 and #3.” These — and all the others on this disc — remind us of the individuality, the fresh and invigorating vitality, and the reliably joyful sound that was, plain and simply, in the DNA of Ray Bryant.?Self-Produced; 2013; appx. 58 minutes.
Next Week’s JazzWeek Chart:
#7 – Cory Weeds/Bill Coon Quartet “With Benefits” (Cellar Live) – so far reached Top 5, charting 8 weeks & counting
#36 – Lenny Marcus Trio “TONK: A Tribute to Ray Bryant, Vol. 2″ – DEBUT
#39 – Craig Wuepper “Leaps and Bounds” (Cellar Live) – charting 5 weeks & counting
Lisa Kirchner “Umbrellas in Mint” (Verdant World Records)
Lenny Marcus “TONK: A Tribute to Ray Bryant, Vol. 2″
Thanks Sean Bera for the kind words.
LENNY MARCUS TRIO/Peace for Beethoven: Simply put, Marcus has a gift for invention. Sounding nothing like the jazz into classical records of the 50s, this second outing where Marcus faces off against Beethoven and brings out the jazz is a mind blower. Sounding nothing at all like something that’s good for you, if you’re a classical music tourist, your almost won’t recognize these melodies as springing from the classics, Beethoven or otherwise. First class all the way, it tastes good and it’s good for you. A winner throughout, this is music you want around for when you are looking for a groove that takes you someplace else. Well done.
Chris Spector – Midwest Record - www.midwestrecord.com
LENNY MARCUS TRIO/Tonk-A Tribute to Ray Bryant V. 2: One of the unexpected treats of last year’s mail bag was Marcus’ tribute to his late piano teacher, Ray Bryant. Expected or not, this follow up where he once again explores Bryant’s many high spots is another treat. Played with the sincerity and passion that can only come from being a student, friend and ‘nephew’, Marcus pours that something extra into this set that’s loaded with so much soul, funk and joy that it’s the kind of stuff that brings the house down. With everybody cooking and swinging their way through the program, this is the kind of set that sets the standard for anything to come. Killer stuff throughout.
Chris Spector – Midwest Record - www.midwestrecord.com
Also some reviews available at This is Book’s Music.
The LENNY MARCUS TRIO just finished their Winter Tour January 2013! at Blues Alley (sold out first show), Germano’s in Baltimore, 49 West in Annapolis (sold out and standing ovation), Ginger Cove (fancy retirement community in Annapolis – standing ovation) and Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (standing ovation). The group has already been asked back in this area in late October, 2013 for a FALL TOUR at the request of these venues! And more!
New Shows for the Fall:
It’s a great review and I’m thankful. You can read it here.
Folks, it just doesn’t get much mo’ down & phonk-y than this… you’ll be hooked (as was I) from the opening bar of “Seven Ate Nine” right to the last note of “Ode To The Night“… 16 tracks that will have you in jazz heaven (somethin’ to do with dreams, maybe?) perpetually! Lenny’s keyboards are joined by a whole host of “on” players, & the recording is superbly done. The sax work (Tom Artwick) on the opening to “Five Little Stars” serves as a perfect opening for each of the other players to show their jazz skills… simple, yet beautiful jazz that you won’t soon forget. My personal favorite tune was “Happy Blues For Two“… this is an all-round jazz journey that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97. Get more information at Lenny’s site.
Sun Ray: A Tribute To Ray Bryant (self-released) is an album that shows the utmost respect for jazz, a musician, and a friend. The album by the Lenny Marcus Trio (Marcus on piano, Larry Scott on drums, and Rick Eckberg on bass) is the kind of diversity and jazz you come to love, expect, and respect from albums released throughout the 1960?s, where you’ll hear a bit of be-bop, something traditional, a bit of Brasilia with a dash into bossa nova, and a ballad or two, and the playing here is very exquisite. Everyone on this album stands out, but when Marcus gets into a mean solo, as he does in “Cubano Chant”, you can not only hear hints of what Marcus taught up, but Marcus offering acknowledgment to his mentor. It gets quite deep when you hear one of three Marcus originals, the title track that might make a few hip-hop producers go “oh!, I want to use that”. Not without permission, of course. Impressive album from start to finish.
See the review in person here.
You can now download all my albums at Bandcamp.com. What is great about Bandcamp is that you can download my albums in high quality formats such as 320k MP3, FLAC, WAV and more. Check out my new releases as well as my entire back catalog. There are about twenty albums that you can sample and download.
Thanks for listening.
How cool is this? Not only was Bryant an early Marcus piano teacher, Bryant was also Marcus’s father’s best friend. Any kid thinking about music would be a head case to throw away an opportunity like that. From having his songs on the Weather Channel to getting a chance to pay a heart felt tribute to the recently departed Bryant, Marcus doesn’t disappoint, and here he pulls out all the stops to make sure he gets his point across. A delightfully infectious date that does a fine job of keeping the memory alive, any Bryant fan owes it to himself to listen to this next to the originals. Everyone else owes it to themselves to check it out. Hot stuff.
In which we find Marcus marking his territory as the jazzbo with the sense of humor, whether making word play with the titles or jazz play with the music. You get the feeling he played a lot of the original Ramsey Lewis Trio, when he was a kid and wasn’t listening to Ray Bryant. Not a retro record, but with a lot of echoes of the 60s era on board, you’ll hear Lewis, Bryant, Hancock and all the rest that were making clear marks in the days before Miles went nuts and turned contemporary jazz on it’s head. Anyone in their 40s or 50s will know and relate to how groovy these sounds are. Now that the new season of “Mad Men” has turned everyone on to Now Sound, it’s time to you to turn to guides like this to show you what you’ve been missing in your quest for uber cool.
Check it out.
“If classical music can be criticized for something, is for the relegation of rhythm in favor of the development of melodic and harmonic sophistication. It is precisely the rhythmic complexity that comes from Africa, found in jazz and afro caribbean music, their greatest advantage of these music forms over classical music.”
You can read the rest of the review by clicking here.
Just as the title suggests. There are more dates added to the show list. There are a few album projects in the works. I will release more details as they become available.
Thanks for listening.