179

Marty Ehrlich: Song

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Reedsman Marty Ehrlich enlists pianist Uri Caine, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Billy Drummond for this lyrical, swinging, accessible set. After opening with Robin Holcomb's melancholy "Waltz" (a feature for Ehrlich's brilliant bass clarinet), the quartet embarks on a trilogy of Ehrlich-penned pieces. "The Price of the Ticket," inspired by James Baldwin, begins with a beautifully orchestrated rubato section before breaking into a burning swing tempo, laying a foundation for incisive solos by Ehrlich (on alto), Caine, and Drummond. "Day of the Dark Bright Light" opens with duo ruminations from Caine and Formanek and evolves into a slow and straightforward waltz. And "Blue Boye's Blues," dedicated to the late Julius Hemphill, is a bout of free jazz featuring special guest Ray Anderson on trombone. Chaotic sounds give way to an unaccompanied trombone passage, then an out-of-left-field, Motown-like progression that carries the piece to the end.

Ehrlich then leads the band through a gospel-tinged reading of Bob Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant." The song, from 1968's John Wesley Harding, contains the immortal line, "who passionately hates his life, and likewise fears his death." Sustaining the penultimate chord with intensity before landing softly on the final, conclusive note, the group gets to the heart of Dylan's bitterly told tale.

Next is a ten-minute-plus original called "Fauve," the album's high point, with the leader on soprano. The piece moves through an impressionistic rubato into fast, bright swing and eventually back again to rubato. Caine then introduces an unexpected 6/8 section, an inspired detour that ultimately concludes the piece. Wrapping up the session is "The Falling Rains of Life," with Ehrlich back on bass clarinet where he started, delighting in the contours of Jaki Byard's achingly beautiful melody.

Song is marred only by the fact that the piano and bass aren't nearly present enough on the recording. Otherwise, it's a major statement by Marty Ehrlich.


Track Listing: Song; The Price of the Ticket; Day of the Dark Bright Light; Blue Boy's Blues; I Pity the Poor Immigrant; Fauve; The Falling Rains of Life.

Personnel: Marty Ehrlich: alto and soprano saxes; Uri Caine: piano; Michael Formanek: bass; Billy Drummond: drums.

| Record Label: Enja Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Mettã" CD/LP/Track Review Mettã
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Invisible Man" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Man
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!