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Multi-reedman Michael Marcus and alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons have been collaborating since the early '80s. This release signifies the group’s followup to the 2001 date Cosmosamatics. Much like the previous outing, the saxophonists work well together, amid organically tinted sound structures and razor sharp soloing.
Drummer Jay Rosen’s rumbling tom work rides atop bassist Curtis Lundy’s booming ostinato during the jazz waltz etude on “Daughter of Isis.” Here, Marcus overlays bass clarinet and soprano sax lines during a piece featuring Middle Eastern type overtures. Moreover, the saxophonists render a vivacious tribute to the late Eric Dolphy on the aptly titled “Echoes of Eric Dolphy.”
The quartet explores Brazilian motifs and stark soundscapes throughout, while also injecting subliminal doses of romanticism in spots. “Cosmic Curtis” is marked by Simmons’ extended soloing to complement a rather leisurely yet altogether compelling motif. Overall, this is a sound effort, yet perhaps not as persuasive or commanding as the band’s 2001 production.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.