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Duology + 2 at the London Jazz Festival

Read "Duology + 2 at the London Jazz Festival" reviewed by John Sharpe

Duology + 2 Cafe OtoLondonNovember, 13, 2009

The opening night of the London Jazz Festival provided a rare opportunity to hear clarinetist Michael Marcus and trumpeter Ted Daniel--two seasoned, but unsung denizens of the New York scene--in the intimate surroundings of Dalston's Cafe Oto.

Marcus made his debut with the blues bands of Albert King and Bobby “Blue" Bland, before becoming a prominent figure in the free jazz scene from the 1980s onward ...


Michael Marcus: Lotus Symphony

Read "Lotus Symphony" reviewed by John Sharpe

Improvisers who concentrate on the clarinet are a select bunch, perhaps something to do with the difficulty of navigating its tricky three registers--a far cry from the early days of jazz when the clarinet's cry was integral to Dixieland and swing ensembles. Multi-instrumentalist Michael Marcus has only lately joined that coterie lost in the licorice stick's possibilities, saying in a 2007 interview , “I find it easier now to fulfill some of my thoughts with the clarinet, through musical articulations ...


Michael Marcus: Lotus Symphony, Free Within The Law & Duology

Read "Michael Marcus: Lotus Symphony, Free Within The Law & Duology" reviewed by Marc Medwin

Michael MarcusLotus SymphonyNot Two2008 The CosmosamaticsFree Within The LawNot Two2008 DuologyGolden AtomsSoul Note2008 Saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Marcus further establishes his versatility with these three recent releases. In various instrumental configurations and featuring long-time collaborators, these are diverse discs where craft and commitment merge to create ...


Michael Marcus: Lotus Symphony

Read "Lotus Symphony" reviewed by Troy Collins

A criminally under-sung multi-instrumentalist, Michael Marcus' collaborations with Ted Daniel, Frank Lowe, and Sonny Simmons over the past two decades have yielded some of the most enduring and adventurous sounds in modern jazz. A soulful stylist on soprano, alto, and baritone saxophone, Marcus is also an advocate of the more esoteric members of the saxophone family, such as the manzello, stritch, and saxello (all originally popularized by Rahsaan Roland Kirk).

Lately however, Marcus has abandoned doubling in order ...


Michael Marcus: Lotus Symphony

Read "Lotus Symphony" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Michael Marcus is a multi-instrumentalist who has shown mettle on the manzello, the stritch, the saxello, as well as the alto, baritone and soprano saxophones and the clarinet. He has recently been gravitating towards the clarinet and has played solely on the Bb clarinet on Golden Atoms (Soul Note, 2008) and here on Lotus Symphony.

The high mark of this release is the way in which Marcus balances improvisation and composition. This is done through a shifting line-up ...


Duology: Golden Atoms

Read "Golden Atoms" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Michael Marcus (Bb clarinet) and Ted Daniel (trumpet) have long been distinctive improvisers. Both have made a mark not only on the free jazz scene, but also with mainstream bands. Whatever the setting, they have found the space to add their own impulses to enrich the music. And so, of the many duos that have popped up in the world of jazz, this one makes a marked impression. Marcus and Daniel create intuitive nuggets as they play a dozen tunes ...


Michael Marcus: Truth, Love and Soul

Read "Michael Marcus:  Truth, Love and Soul" reviewed by Ludwig vanTrikt

Philadelphia performance artist “Skip" Homer Jackson recently asked my opinion about a number of jazz artists who have been overlooked because they were great stylists who played in the shadows of great players. I immediately thought of Booker Ervin in relationship to John Coltrane; and Booker Little, who ironically was little (no pun intended) appreciated during the 1960's era of stellar jazz hornmen. In the back of my mind too, was the multi-instrumentalist/band leader and composer Michael Marcus.

The following ...


Michael Marcus: Duology & The Magic Door

Read "Michael Marcus: Duology & The Magic Door" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Michael Marcus and Ted Daniel Duology Boxholder 2007 Michael Marcus The Magic Door Not Two 2007

Michael Marcus comes from the Rahsaan Roland Kirk school of multi-instrumentalism and whether on his own (Speaking Out, Drimala) or with his best-known partner (Sonny Simmons in the Cosmosamatics), variety of tonal color and timbre ...


Michael Marcus & Ted Daniel: Duology

Read "Duology" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Duology is an extremely interesting album that shows how much musical communication depends upon the players and not the instrumentation. Michael Marcus, who plays all manner of reed instruments, sticks to Bb clarinet here, while Ted Daniel plays four members of the trumpet family, including something called a Moroccan bugle. The lack of a rhythm section and chordal instrument actually expands the possibilities of interaction between Marcus and Daniel. Once the starkness of the musical setting is ...


Michael Marcus & Ted Daniel: Duology

Read "Duology" reviewed by Troy Collins

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 ...


Michael Marcus: Zetrons and Soulifications

Read "Michael Marcus: Zetrons and Soulifications" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

The Cosmosamatics Zetrons Not Two 2006 Michael Marcus Trio Soulifications Black Saint 2006 Against all odds and likely thanks to the good taste of European jazz fans (these live tracks are taken from performances in Krakow, Amsterdam and Vienna), veteran altoist Sonny Simmons and reedist Michael Marcus have managed to keep the Cosmosamatics together as a working band for the past five years, Zetrons being their ...


Michael Marcus Takes the Iron Horse to the Blue Note

Read "Michael Marcus Takes the Iron Horse to the Blue Note" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Widely traveled multi-reedist Michael Marcus speaks with the same exhuberance and enthusiasm he demonstrates blowing next to Bay Area master Sonny Simmons in the Cosmosamatics and fronting the powerhouse Michael Marcus Trio, which he leads into the Blue Note this month. “After the Cosmosamatics tour, I took the train to Milan to mix the new Michael Marcus Trio CD with Tarus Mateen [bass] and Nasheet Waits [drums] for Black Saint/Soul Note," he said. “It's called The Iron Horse , which ...

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