299

Michael Marcus & Ted Daniel: Duology

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Marcus & Ted Daniel: Duology Duology pairs multi-instrumentalist Michael Marcus and trumpeter Ted Daniel in a series of unique, vibrant duets. Eschewing his usual arsenal of horns, Marcus limits himself to B-flat clarinet, while Daniel alternates between a few members of the trumpet family for subtle variety. With a selection of brief skeletal miniatures, Marcus and Daniel deliver a snapshot of jazz history, from its syncopated Dixieland roots to AACM-influenced abstraction.

Both seasoned veterans, Marcus and Daniel use these fundamental tools of the jazz canon to generate everything from lyrical ballads and swinging counterpoint to avant-garde textures. The resonant woody timbre of the clarinet provides a supple contrast to the brassy bite of the trumpet, while muted horn punctuations offer a honeyed buffer to the clarion call of the tiny reed's upper register.

Marcus penned half the tunes; the rest are divided between Daniel's compositions and free improvisations. Whether soloing in unison over quirky themes or providing supple support, these two players maintain focus on often knotty structures. Although the limited instrumental palette might seem constraining on paper, in reality they offer a surprising array of sounds.

Beyond the reminiscences of early Dixieland, the clarinet/trumpet combination recalls the dynamic John Carter/Bobby Bradford partnership of the early 1980s and the rich polyphonic angularity of the classic Ornette Coleman/Don Cherry front line.

Regular collaborators through the 1990s, after being introduced by Frank Lowe, Marcus and Daniel pay homage to the iconic tenor saxophonist on the aptly titled "Sweet 'N' Lowe," a sultry blues meditation that slides easily alongside the casual swing of "Lunar Shuffle." On the jaunty riffing of "O.C.," they prove that swing isn't dependent on an actual rhythm section so much as implied rhythm.

Their dialogue is rich, yet never verbose, as evident on the pensive "Spiral Landscapes." A turbulent outré side is revealed on the circuitous interplay of "Module" and the visceral sonic labyrinth of "Wiggle Room." Dedication to the tunes' structure never falters, however, whether blending Old World swing with freewheeling expression on "Knock Knock" or exploring the extreme outer limits of sound on "Dark Sun" and "Rhythm in Green."

Duology might not be for all tastes, but for those in search of deep listening and intense improvisation, it's hard to beat.


Track Listing: Knock Knock; Sonic Corridors; Dark Sun; O.C.; Spiral Landscapes; Module; Pagan Spain; Wiggle Room; Human Factor; Lunar Shuffle; Cotton Candy; Sweet 'N' Lowe (for Frank Lowe); Rhythm In Green.

Personnel: Michael Marcus: clarinet; Ted Daniel: trumpet, flugelhorn, Moroccan bugle, cornet.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Boxholder Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Touch My Beloved's Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Touch My Beloved's Thought
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by John Kelman
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!