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Marbin: Last Chapter of Dreaming

Sammy Stein By

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Marbin—Israeli saxophonist Danny Markovitch and Israeli-American guitarist Dani Rabin—began as a duo in 2007, but now regularly plays with percussionist Justyn Lawrence and bassist Jae Gentile.

Last Chapter of Dreaming is the group's fourth album if its first is considered to be Paul Wertico's Impressions of a City (Chicago Sessions, 2009), where the duo was the "Mid East" contingent of the ex-Pat Metheny drummer's Mid East / Mid- West Alliance, but Marbin (Self Produced, 2009) was its true first as a duo. Breaking The Cycle (Moonjune, 2011) followed, with additional musicians Wertico, bassist Steve Rodby (another Metheny Group alum) and percussionist Jamey Haddad, who has played with artists including singer/songwriter Paul Simon) and saxophonist Dave Liebman.

Last Chapter of Dreaming is an eclectic and diverse mix of styles. Marbin is once again augmented by Lawrence and Gentile, using the style and range of each musician to add embellishment and richness to the music. The album has many tracks that include heavy—almost anarchic—driving rhythms, and yet there are places where the band shows its soft side with gentle melodies.

The album is full of surprises. Strong riffs duck and dive, weaving in and out over strong, primal rhythms complemented by soaring vocals overlaying some of the tracks. It is an album dominated by melody and strong rhythms. Many Marbin tunes sound almost familiar, redolent of something once heard, but with an exact melody that remains tantalizingly just out of reach. Many tracks, like "On The Square," "Redline" and "Inner Monologue," use fast, almost hypnotic rhythms and interplay between sax and guitar, while "Last Days of August" and "The Night Gave Nothing" are contrasts to the rest of the material, providing slow, peaceful melodies.

Joyously anarchic at times, Marbin demonstrates its increasing maturity, its individual musicians highlighting their ability to play as part of a tight band. Each musician is used well and demonstrates an ability to play a range of styles.

"'Redline" starts as a rock tune before developing into what is almost straight-ahead jazz in the middle, while "Blue Fingers"— possibly the highlight of the album— combines tight rhythms with bluesy overtones, over a distinctive melody. The beautiful "Cafe Du Nuit" is in contrast to the other tracks, its light, airy, Latin guitar style conjuring up images of evenings on the Mediterranean with its distinct Spanish overtones.

Ultimately, Last Chapter of Dreaming is an album of contrasts, where musicians of class play many styles, one moment a roller coaster ride, the next a gentle settling down to sleep before shaking awake with riotous anarchy. Several of the tunes stick in the mind after the first play and Marbin continues to develop its own distinctive style. Now playing across the States, Marbin is clocking up over 250 live dates a year.

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.

Personnel: Danny Markovitch: saxophone; Dani Rabin: guitars; Justyn Lawrence: drums; Jae Gentile: bass; Leslie Beukelman: vocals; Jubari Rayford: vocals; Abraha Rayford: vocals; Caleb Willitz: vocals; Justin Ruff: vocals; Matt Nelson: keyboards; Greg Spero: keysboards; Victor Garcia: trumpet.

Title: Last Chapter Of Dreaming | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

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