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Jazz Articles about Ben Markley

30

Album Review

Ben Markley Big Band: Ari's Funhouse

Read "Ari's Funhouse" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Ari's Funhouse, recorded in July 2021, sprang from a chance encounter at a Texas jazz festival in 2019 between New York-based drummer & composer Ari Hoenig and Denver-based pianist & arranger Ben Markley. After performing with Hoenig in a small group, Markley asked if he might score some of Hoenig's songs for a big band. Hoenig readily agreed, and after a lengthy Covid-induced pause, he and Markley's band finally met face-to-face in Denver to record the album. Two things are ...

7

Album Review

Ben Markley Quartet: Slow Play

Read "Slow Play" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The jacket cover on this splendid new studio recording from OA2 Records reads “Ben Markley Quartet Featuring Joel Frahm," and for good reason: the New York City-based saxophonist lends considerable improvisational weight to Slow Play, which would be a far different animal without him. That's not to say that pianist Markley, bassist Marty Kenney and drummer Jim White couldn't succeed or even prosper without him, only that Frahm's strong and persuasive voice is so inseparable a part of the package ...

3

Album Review

Ben Markley: Slow Play

Read "Slow Play" reviewed by Paul Rauch


Pianist/composer Ben Markley has shown deft touch in hand picking projects that express the broad range of his relationship with the music. Since 2017 he has produced a rousing big band tribute to Cedar Walton, and a slick quartet record with saxophonist Greg Osby. Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton (OA2, 2017) featured Markley's insightful arrangements of the beloved pianist's tunes, utilizing fellow faculty members at the University of Wyoming, and players from the vibrant jazz scene in Denver. Basic ...

5

Album Review

Ben Markley Quartet: Basic Economy

Read "Basic Economy" reviewed by Paul Rauch


Pianist/composer Ben Markley has enough jazz pedigree to draw interest from jazz fans on an international level. After all, he has performed with such notables as Brian Lynch, Terell Stafford, and Eddie Henderson. His work on the jazz scene in Denver is well regarded, as is his work as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, not what one would call a hotbed of jazz music. It was Markley's most recent recording Clockwise: The ...

6

Album Review

Ben Markley Big Band, featuring Terell Stafford: Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton

Read "Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist Cedar Walton (1934-2013) is one of the giants, as well known for his compositions and arranging as he is for his piano chair stints in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, his steering vocalist Etta James to an Emmy Award for Mystery Lady: The Songs Of Billie Holiday, (RCA, 1994), and his prolific recording career, beginning with Cedar! (Prestige Records, 1967) through The Bouncer (Highnote Records, 2011). Like many of us, pianist Ben Markley got hooked on the music ...

8

Album Review

Ben Markley: Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton

Read "Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Cedar Walton, whose long and illustrious career ended with his passing in August 2013, was not only one of his era's most celebrated jazz pianists but a musician whose impressive talents as a composer were often beclouded by his remarkable success as a performer. One of those whose admiration for Walton the composer is as earnest as it is for Walton the pianist is Ben Markley, himself a pianist and director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming. To ...

387

Album Review

Ben Markley: Second Introduction

Read "Second Introduction" reviewed by John Barron


Denver-based pianist Ben Markley, winner of the 2007 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award, is a well-studied musician whose achievements thus far demonstrate a willingness to stand apart from the multitude of talented young artists graduating from music colleges across the country. Second Introduction is Markley's second recording as a leader with rhythm section pals Evan Gregor (bass) and Jordan Perlson (drums). Added to the front-line of the quintet are top-notch soloists Greg Gisbert (trumpet) and Jim Pisano (tenor ...


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