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.