Amazon.com Widgets

Mitch Marcus: Countdown 2 Meltdown (2010)

By Published: | 3,834 views
Mitch Marcus: Countdown 2 Meltdown How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Although its music is grounded in blues, bop and other time-honored constructs, the Mitch Marcus Quintet is not your usual jazz band. In fact, the MMQ's adventurous tunes, use of unusual meters and delightfully manic arrangements travel far beyond conventional musical borders.

The band's Countdown 2 Meltdown is a sonic riot bursting with invention and mischief. This is evident from the first notes of "Coffee and Cones." Marcus' tenor and Sylvain Carton's alto drive this tune, with its incantatory, around-the-forest-fire vocalizing. A dynamite exchange between bassist George Ban-Weiss and drummer Tomas Fujiwara highlights "Ron and the Machete." Guitarist John Abraham—inspired by the horns—lights into the title track, playing with flawless rush-hour urgency. Abraham also stands out on the wonderfully raucous "Jimmy's Delight," laying down psychedelic riffs over Fujiwara's robust clamor. Trumpeter Darren Johnston joins the band for the improvisation "A's Lament." It doesn't quite work, but listening to their voices trying to agree is still intriguing.

The band's humor is on display throughout, from Marcus and Carton's seagull mimicry on "SS Clagett" to guest vocalist Lorin Benedict's tongue-in-cheek scatting on "HH." Carton and Marcus blow like inspired madmen on the satire "Tron McCain"; Abraham plays with such fury that his fret board must have been smoking at song's end. And if Quentin Tarantino were to re-imagine Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as a '70s retro-epic flick, "The Albatross" would be its theme song. The funky horns and slashing guitar riffs may not be considered jazz, but it's sure damn fun listening.

Countdown 2 Meltdown shows that, in both musical and recreational senses, the key word for the MMQ is "play." The guys are simply having a blast and they want everybody to be in on the fun.

Track Listing: Coffee and Cones; Ron and the Machete; Countdown 2 Meltdown; A's Lament; Jimmy's Delight; SS Clagett; Tron McCain; Wonton; HH; The Albatross.

Personnel: Mitch Marcus: tenor saxophone; Sylvain Carton: alto saxophone; Mike Abraham: guitar; George Ban-Weiss: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums, gongs; Darren Johnston: trumpet (track 4); Lorin Benedict: vocals (track 9).

Record Label: Porto Franco Records

Style: Fringes of Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search