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Marty Ehrlich: Trio Exaltation

Read "Trio Exaltation" reviewed by Troy Dostert

After his previous release, 2013's magnificent big-band disc A Trumpet in the Morning (New World Records), it was unclear whether multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich would continue down the path of large-scale composition or return to the small-to-medium-sized ensembles he's used for most of his recorded output over the years. Well, he's gone small all right: all the way down to a trio, something he's not done since 2000, when he teamed up with Andrew Cyrille and Mark Dresser on C/D/E (Jazz ...

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Funk Off: Things Change

Read "Things Change" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

The whole point, when it comes to marching bands, is that they have to well, stroll around while playing their instruments. I guess, you guess, that the whole point is lost on CD, where the mono-dimensional (time) facet of the spectrum monopolises the dynamics of the whole. Things Change makes obviously no exception, but does it matter? Not at all. The range of influences at play here is-- by itself--praiseworthy and laudable; the magnitude of their individual skillsets reveals a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Marty Ehrlich: A Trumpet In The Morning

Read "Marty Ehrlich: A Trumpet In The Morning" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

A Trumpet In The Morning is a first for multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich; it's the first album completely dedicated to his large group works and the first album under his name that's basically directed by his hand rather than his horn(s). The intrepid Ehrlich, who fell under the sway of St. Louis' Black Artists Group (BAG) in his formative years and fell in with the AACM crowd when he arrived in New York in the late '70s, has been putting out ...

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Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet: Frog Leg Logic

Read "Frog Leg Logic" reviewed by Troy Collins

The premier of Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet, Things Have Got To Change (Clean Feed, 2009), featured the venerable multi-instrumentalist's engaging originals bolstered by a handful of previously unrecorded pieces by his mentor, the late Julius Hemphill (1938-1995). Drawing on Hemphill's seminal work in the St Louis-based Black Artists' Group (BAG), and his innovative writing for the World Saxophone Quartet, Ehrlich has proven to be one of the legendary saxophonist's most ardent devotees, leading Hemphill's self-titled saxophone sextet after his passing.

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Marty Ehrlich: Things Have Got To Change

Read "Things Have Got To Change" reviewed by Stuart Broomer

The clarity that's so immediately apparent in Marty Ehrlich's alto sound permeates his work, so that there's a quality at once naked and luminous in the music heard here. The quartet with trumpeter James Zollar, cellist Erik Friedlander and drummer Pheeroan akLaff and the concept harkens back to the early Ornette Coleman Quartet, each member committed to an intense lyricism, an insistence on the emotional power of blues and hymn. There are moments in the opening “Rites Rhythm" that even ...

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Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet: Things Have Got To Change

Read "Things Have Got To Change" reviewed by Troy Collins

One of the seminal artists of the New York Loft jazz scene, composer and multi-instrumentalist Julius Hemphill (1938-1995) left a diverse legacy that lives on through the tireless efforts of saxophonist Tim Berne and multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich. Hemphill's earthy forays with cellist Abdul Wadud in the early seventies broke new stylistic ground, unapologetically drawing inspiration from funk, soul and R&B. His inventive writing for unconventional instrumental combinations was further realized as a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet and ...

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Marty Ehrlich / Myra Melford: Spark!

Read "Spark!" reviewed by Matthew Miller

Multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich and pianist Myra Melford share more than a virtuosic touch and rugged lyricism. Their work embodies a single-minded approach to duo playing that lends an air of cohesion to the most abstract improvisation, allowing their ideas to blend to the point where Ehrlich's tone becomes a growling, vibrato-laden extension of Melford's sensitive voicings and provocative counterpoints or a serene answer to one of the pianist's jarring exclamations. Spark! opens and closes with “Hymn, a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Marty Ehrlich Trio in Tel Aviv

Read "Marty Ehrlich Trio in Tel Aviv" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Marty Ehrlich Trio New Opera House Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, January, 19, 2007

The first performance in Israel of New York-based composer and reed player Marty Ehrlich offered a concise overview of the career of the gifted player. Ehrlich presented his new trio--Shanir Ezra Blumenkrantz on bass and oud along with drummer Mark Fereber--and hosted Israeli saxophonist Albert Beger in the second half of the concert.

Ehrlich opened the concert with two ...

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Marty Ehrlich: News On The Rail

Read "News On The Rail" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich can always be counted on to make thoughtful, provocative music on the modern-creative end of the jazz spectrum. His last album (The Long View, 2003) featured an extended large-group composition inspired by the work of painter Oliver Jackson. News On The Rail is a somewhat less abstract effort comprising eight new tunes written for what he calls a “large small ensemble--actually a sextet.An avant gardist with an appreciation for melody, Ehrlich has long been associated ...

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Marty Ehrlich: News on the Rail

Read "News on the Rail" reviewed by David Miller

Jazz is a big word. And the jazz world is a big world. In an independent study of mine, I am trying to define just how big that world is. But that's the thing. It's boundless. And not only is it boundless, but musicians are constantly exploring new frontiers, trying things that haven't been tried before. Maybe that's why I love jazz, because I hope that some day I can possess the mindset to do something completely new.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Marty Ehrlich: The Long View

Read "The Long View" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Jazz needs composers like Marty Ehrlich. Like his mentor Julius Hemphill, Ehrlich, while proficient in the more conventional small group settings, envisions something greater, hearing music of multiple textures, moods, origins and voicings. Divided into six movements and a postlude, The Long View was originally conceived as aural accompaniment to an exhibition of paintings by Oliver Jackson (another Hemphill cohort). That this work stands on its own is implicit.

The first movement commences with a bracing sax statement by Ehrlich, ...

PROFILES

Marty Ehrlich: Knows No Bounds

Read "Marty Ehrlich: Knows No Bounds" reviewed by Clifford Allen

My first experience of Marty Ehrlich was as the lanky, bespectacled fellow standing near my uncle on the back cover of the Creative Improvisers’ Orchestra LP The Sky Cries the Blues. A relatively obscure Leo Smith-directed album cut during the trumpeter’s sojourn in the New Haven scene of the early ‘80s, it is but a blip on the screen of Ehrlich’s vast discography. He and my uncle performed in a bass clarinet dialogue on side one, and though they never ...


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