All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Extended Analysis


Marbin: Marbin: Last Chapter of Dreaming

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Back in the 1970s, fusion used to mean one thing; the melding of jazz improvisation and chord structures with the stylistic eclecticism and pure energy of progressive rock. As a recognizable formula emerged, it became common to hear the exotic strains of various ethnic musics in a jazz-rock fusion context. By the late '70s, its emphasis shifted again towards more accessible pop and R&B-derived sounds driven by the economic demands of the time, leaving us with smooth jazz. The 21st century has ushered in a rebirth of fusion, as the style's originators—musicians such as keyboardist Chick Corea and guitarist John McLaughlin—have revisited the style and found it, once again, to their liking. More importantly, a new generation of musicians who were brought up hearing fusion are eager to reinvestigate and elaborate on the adventurous sounds of their youth.

Guitarist Dani Rabin and saxophonist Danny Markovitch, the prime artistic forces behind the Chicago-based co-operative fusion band Marbin, go a step further. For them, and for a lot of younger musicians, fusion needn't be just jazz plus rock; it can be jazz plus a lot of different—even disparate-seeming—musical and stylistic elements. On Last Chapter of Dreaming, as with its predecessor Breaking the Cycle (Moonjune Records, 2011), Markovtich and Rabin see pretty much all styles of music as fair game for their highly personal take on fusion. Most prominent in their mix are the keening strains of surf music, Israeli pop, twangy Spaghetti Western movie themes, metal-influenced rock instrumentals (e.g. Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen), and the unassuming lyricism of the Pat Metheny Group.

Last Chapter of Dreaming can be pretty much divided into two sides of the same coin. Most of the tunes feature the core touring unit of Rabin and Markovitch plus drummer Justyn Lawrence and bassist Jae Gentile. Many of these tracks are of the hard-hitting, über-crunchy rock-fusion variety, with Rabin's insistently virtuosic guitar heroics well out in front. "Blue Fingers," "On The Square," and "Redline" yielding some of the set's most electrifying music. By contrast, the tracks with former Metheny Group drummer Paul Wertico and bassist Steve Rodby, plus percussionists Jamey Haddad and Zohar Fresco, have a flowing, graceful lyricism informed by Israeli folk music. These pieces tend to feature Markovitch's hyperactive curved soprano saxophone as the lead voice. Some of the album's more varied and interesting tunes, "Volta," "The Ballad of Daniel White," and "The Way to Riches," combine both approaches.

Unlike a lot of the younger fusioneers and prog-rockers, Marbin tends to eschew dissonance and convoluted song structures in favor of a more tune-based, head-solos-head format. This approach works best on the harder-hitting blues and rock-based tunes, where Rabin's guitar carries the bulk of the melodic and improvisational weight. However, when the focus shifts to Markovitch's saxophone, the music's straightforward emotionality steers it towards an almost cinematic sentimentality that may strike some as excessively saccharine or mawkish. This becomes especially apparent on the album's last few tunes.

Marbin is currently one of the hardest-touring bands around, and its group interaction and improvisational instincts has been honed by countless live performances. Though Last Chapter of Dreaming contains some spine-tingling improvisational performances, the compositional aspects of Marbin's game could be sharpened a bit.

Track Listing: Blue Fingers; Inner Monologue; Breaking the Cycle; On The Square; Cafe Du Nuit; Redline; Volta; The Ballad of Daniel White ; Down Goes The Day; The Way to Riches; And The Night Gave Nothing; Purple Fiddle; Last Days of August; Last Chapter of Dreaming.

Personnel: Danny Markovitch: saxophone, keyboards; Dani Rabin: guitars; Justyn Lawrence: drums; Paul Wertico: drums; Jae Gentile: bass; Steve Rodby: bass; Zohar Fresco: percussion; Jamey Haddad: percussion; Leslie Beukelman: vocals; Jabari Rayford: vocals; Abraha Rayford: vocals; Caleb Willitz: vocals; Justin Ruff: vocals; Matt Nelson: keyboards; Greg Spero: keyboards; Rob Clearfield: keyboards; Victor Garcia: trumpet.

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


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Aggressive Hippies

Aggressive Hippies

Moonjune Records

Last Chapter Of Dreaming

Last Chapter Of...

Moonjune Records

Marbin: Last Chapter of Dreaming

Marbin: Last Chapter...

Moonjune Records


Related Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis
Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis
Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis
Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack Extended Analysis
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead...
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis
Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band" Extended Analysis Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows" Extended Analysis Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows
by John Kelman
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Jazz Is Phsh: He Never Spoke A Word" Extended Analysis Jazz Is Phsh: He Never Spoke A Word
by Doug Collette
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon" Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Procol Harum: Novum" Extended Analysis Procol Harum: Novum
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2017