Warne Marsh: An Unsung Cat the Life and Music of Warne Marsh
This Storyville release compiles both released and unreleased material by Warne Marsh made over a 42-year period. The album is an adjunct to a book of the same name by Safford Chamberlain who contributed the informative liner notes.
Marsh's style and technique are reminiscent of Paul Desmond's cool alto. Like his personality, Marsh's playing is self effacing and laid back. A student of jazz innovator Lennie Tristano, there are two cuts on this album where Marsh is joined by fellow students Lee Konitz and Sal Mosca, namely, "Marshmallow" and "Tautology". The album has unreleased material from the vaults of Storyville Records which Marsh recorded in Denmark in the mid 1970's. Among these is a haunting "You Don't What Love" Is which finds Marsh's sound a little heavier than normal. He is joined by the master European bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson who is an excellent foil for Marsh's introspective treatments of this ballad. The gap between these releases and the previous ones from a 1957 session with his own group reflects Marsh's virtual disappearance from the recording studios during this period. Marsh's up tempo work was as delicate as his ballad playing. He never seems to show excitement. That he is the epitome of the cool jazz is established by such cuts as "You Don't What Love Is" and "Playa del Rey". The last cut on the disc is from a previously unreleased private tape of a concert at Mills College. It's a spirited duet with guitarist Larry Koonse on an improvisional exploration of "Sweet and Lovely" made in October of 1987, about three months before Marsh's demise.
As the title of the album implies, Marsh was greatly under valued by the jazz listening public. This release will go a long in remedying that shortcoming.
Track Listing: Apple Honey; Marshmallow; Tautology; Broadway; Body and Soul; Playa del Rey; It's all Right with Me; You Don't Know What Love Is; Confirmation; Easy; How High the Moon; It Could Happen to You; Way in There; Lennie's Pennies; Sweet and Lovely.
Personnel: Principal performers: Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Ted Brown- Tenor Saxophone; Sol Mosca, Joe Albany, Toshiko Akiyoshi , Kenny Barron - Piano; Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson, Red Mitchell - Bass; Denzil Best, Stan Levey, Larry Bunker - Drums