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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Cary: Focus

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Some artists catch an early break. Others struggle to get onto the public's radar, despite great talent and stylistic range. It's curious that keyboardist Marc Cary hasn't caught on. His work with artists including trumpeter Roy Hargrove, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and singer Abbey Lincoln suggests that he's well-respected by his peers and considered capable of just about anything. Focus introduces his four-year-old Focus Trio, and while there may be too many acoustic piano trios out there, this is one that warrants attention.

Two recent performances by Cary with Harris' Blackout emphasized just how flexible he can be in a band ...

INTERVIEWS

Go-Go Marc, Cary On! An Indigenous Person Tells his Story

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Sometimes, as Marc Cary so astutely points out at the end of this interview, we presume too much for our musical heroes. We listen and then, it seems, we just know they're so good, we assume numerous fans feel the same way, providing at least enough artistic and economic support to sustain careers and keep that creative vision growing vigorously. This hypothesis may appear supported by a somewhat steady flow of recordings and sideman appearances, although they never seem to tour through your town. Presume nothing.

If, as in the case of Marc Cary, our protagonist released a record in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Cary: Rhodes Ahead Vol. 1

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Jazz pianist Marc Cary pays a bit of homage to the electric piano that Harold Rhodes started developing way back in the mid-forties as Leo Fender subsequently bought the rights and appended his last name to an instrument that is cherished by many a keyboardist. With Rhodes Ahead, Vol 1 Cary performs on the rhodes, and the now ancient yet still delectable (analog) moog synthesizer, while the end results prove to be somewhat of a mixed bag at best.

The opener, a composition titled “Rhodes Ahead Intro” features groove beats and Cary’s airy chord progressions performed on the rhodes, yet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Cary: Trillium

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While this is pianist Marc Cary’s record, the first thing that jumps out at the listener is the huge sound of Tarus Mateen’s bass. Deliciously fat, woody tones like these don’t grow on trees. On this memorable trio session, Mateen and powerhouse drummer Nasheet Waits provide a rambunctious, rock-solid foundation for Cary’s profound piano ruminations. Flutist Yarbrough Charles Laws appears on two strikingly melodic Cary originals, “New Prospective" and “Peace Maker" (the latter a piano/flute duet), as well as the lively finale, “King Tut’s Strut." And Cary, in a tribute to his mentor Abbey Lincoln, plays the singer’s “My Love ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Cary: Trillium

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From the moody modern mainstream, pianist Marc Cary’s trio moves deliberately with dramatic passion, then balances its program with swinging blues romps and lilting flute melodies. A powerful pianist who leans toward classical diversion, Cary grew up in the Washington, DC area, where creative music has always been well received. Once he moved to New York, the pianist received experience and an education through the “schools" of Arthur Taylor, Betty Carter, and Abbey Lincoln.

Cary performs Lincoln’s song “My Love is You" without accompaniment in a lyrical and expressive manner. His piano becomes a unique and individual voice, as the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Cary: The Antidote

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Any antidote to much of today's piano jazz is certainly welcome as we grapple with greeting a new millenium. Pianist Marc Cary may just be it. After nearly two decades, jazz has probably had enough of ivory tinklers that do little more than recycle the masters or exhume the past. Thirty-two year old Marc Cary has something new to say on The Antidote, his third album since his 1994 Enja debut. Like Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock or McCoy Tyner a generation before, he's brimming with exciting ideas and a strong, clear voice to express it all. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Cary: Listen

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Marc Cary's credentials are impressive. He has been in the bands of Arthur Taylor, Betty Carter, Roy Hargrove and currently is a member of Abbey Lincoln's group. One would expect good things from a musician who has been called upon by these greats and all expectations are met on this fine release.

From the opening notes of bassist Billy Johnson on “Runnin' Out of Time" to the final rustle of percussion on a reprise of the tune, the music is nothing less than top notch, beautifully arranged, passionately executed music. You might not recognize all the names of the artists ...



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