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Dani Rabin is a burgeoning guitar hero and could shred with the best of them, evidenced by this first-class band's third release, featuring guest spots by drummer Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny) and percussionist Jamey Haddad (Herbie Hancock, Joe Lovano). Marked by a diverse track mix and genre-busting compositional frameworks, the artists cross that imaginary boundary, where enviable technical acumen coalesces with tuneful motifs, equating to a highly listenable form-factor. Nonetheless, the meticulously sculpted production, yields gratifying qualities as the band effortlessly whirls through a jazz-fusion baseline, spotted with Balkan, Middle Eastern, progressive-rock and other theme-driven stylizations.
Marbin kicks it off with the slow and steady moving burner "Blue Fingers." With loud crunch chords; Rabin's brazen jazz-rock soloing and streaming slide work, countered by Danny Markovitch's ominous sax notes, the band fuses a catchy cabaret-like hook into a great balls of fire attack. As the production consisting of fourteen pieces, seed a comprehensive view of the core quartet's modus operandi. Concise, and to the point, the musicians do not belabor the point and make every note speak volumes along the way.
Rabin's bristling single note licks and thoughtful polytonal chord voicings generate an abundance of contrasts, and he tears it up on several pieces, yet also uses an acoustic guitar for texture and emotive attributes during select passages. The bulk of these works are radio-friendly, but not overly saccharine or what would be considered smooth jazz in the literal sense. Variety is a key component. For example, "Redline," pushes the engine to its capacity via Rabin's slick-picking, up-tempo rock phrasings and accelerated by his howling wah-wah lines. Although Markovitch's blithe sax choruses are over-the-top they spawn a soothing contrast. And they generate a big sound on the whirling Middle Eastern hued vamp "The Way to Riches."
The artists' commitment and sharp focus cannot be understated, and seem well-prepared for their aggressive touring schedule. Indeed, a quartet projecting many flavors, colors, and extensive implementations, intensified with virtuosic interplay amid a multifaceted repertoire that translates into the prescription for success.
Track Listing: Blue Fingers 1; Inner Monologue; Breaking the Cycle 1; On The Square; Cafe Du Nuit; Redline; Volta; The Ballad of David White 1; Down Goes The Way; The Way to Riches; And The Night Gave Nothing; Purple Fiddle; Last Days of August; Last Chapter of Dreaming 1.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.