Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

Marshall Gilkes: Sound Stories

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
One thing evident from the outset of Marshall Gilkes' Sound Stories: this is a band that impresses with the sheer force of its Herculean chops and unbridled, ceaseless energy. Juilliard-educated and currently residing in Cologne, Germany, Gilkes is one of the most impressive young jazz trombonists to emerge in the last few years. Given the crop of amazing young trombonists on the scene these days—Joe Fiedler, Robert Bachner, Samuel Blaser—that's really saying something. Gilkes' solos combine uncanny pinpoint control with ideas that exude sweat and soul.

On Sound Stories, his third release, Gilkes wields some very heavy composing chops as well. The eight original pieces on Sound Stories are quite appealing, and firmly in the modern mainstream with the occasional odd turn. Several combine aggressive post-bop lines with classically inflected, almost Aaron Copland-esque melodies that occasionally have a gospel-like grandeur. Gilkes and his band leaven acrobatic modern jazz with some sweetly balladic moments. "Bare" is an warmly emotional ballad that lives up to its title, if it's meant in the verbal sense. Pianist Adam Birnbaum plays a central role on the mellow "Presence—Part 2," where his ruminative, Keith Jarrett-influenced piano gets a well-deserved spotlight. By contrast, "Presence—Part 1" whips through a thrill ride of changes, both harmonic and rhythmic, with Gilkes and drummer Eric Doob leading the way.

It also doesn't hurt that tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin is along for this particular ride. Universally recognized as one of the finest tenor soloists around today, he goes toe-to-toe with Gilkes on pretty much every tune. This is a real treat. Not only that, but McCaslin and Gilkes sound great together in the frontline—not quite as gritty as The Crusaders' Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder, but definitely with that same deeply soulful sound. Sound Stories is strong evidence that modern mainstream jazz is more vital, alive, and well as ever.

Track Listing: Presence Part 1; Presence Part 2; Anxiety, Part 1; Anxiety, Part 2; Downtime; Slashes; Bare; Armstrong, Part 1; Armstrong, Part 2; First Song; Thruway.

Personnel: Marshall Gilkes: trombone; Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Adam Birnbaum: piano; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Eric Doob: drums.

Title: Sound Stories | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Alternate Side Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Sabiduria/Wisdom" CD/LP/Track Review Sabiduria/Wisdom
by James Nadal
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "To Pianos" CD/LP/Track Review To Pianos
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 10, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Reach" CD/LP/Track Review Reach
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Tone Twister" CD/LP/Track Review Tone Twister
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Generations" CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 16, 2017