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 Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Beekman Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Beekman Vol. 02
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Of Sound Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Of Sound Mind
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Nexus" CD/LP/Track Review Nexus
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Andando el Tiempo" CD/LP/Track Review Andando el Tiempo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 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!