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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mitch Marcus: Countdown 2 Meltdown

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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." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mitch Marcus Quintet: Countdown 2 Meltdown

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Caution: The music on Countdown 2 Meltdown is not for wimps or the squeamish. With his third quintet release, saxophonist Mitch Marcus and his exciting quintet continue to dish out bold and serious-minded progressive jazz amid a mark of distinction compared to many others of this ilk. After consummating a highly-praised ten-year residency in San Francisco, Marcus returned to his native New York City in 2009. Here, the quintet pulls out the proverbial stops, blasting into the cosmos via blazing improvisational etudes with a precision-oriented, group-centric focus.

With numerous dips, spikes, twists and turns, the band generates a cavalcade of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mitch Marcus Quintet: The Special

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This quintet gets out of the gate with a ballsy no-nonsense mode of operations. San Francisco Bay Area saxophonist Mitch Marcus helps steer the way for his ensemble's progressive-jazz/fuzoid attack with the agility and timeliness of a rapid-response unit. Not for the squeamish, the preponderance of these works consist of snaky dual-sax choruses and blitzing guitar unison runs atop pulsating rhythms. Electric guitarist Michael Abraham adds a significant edge here via his rangy, distortion-drenched licks as the band uses space to its advantage.

On “Last Mourning, they generate a loose groove vibe, sparked by Marcus and fellow saxophonist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mitch Marcus Quintet: The Special

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On The Special, San Francisco Bay area's Mitch Marcus Quintet--two saxophones with a high octane, guitar-driven rhythm section--go with a fiery gusto for a post apocalyptic jazz mood, sounding like a bunch of young musical toughs surviving the hard way in a not-too-distant dystopian world, hard-asses with instruments stalking a dark, Clockwork Orange alley.For all the chip-on-the-shoulder mood--the searing guitar and booming bass--there's also an awful lot of finesse in this mix, the way Sylvain Carton's sizzling alto sax solo wanes into a danceable guitar trio groove on “Inditranego," with the two horns haunting things in the background, ...



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