All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Mitch Marcus Quintet: The Special

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
This quintet gets out of the gate with a ballsy no-nonsense mode of operations. San Francisco Bay Area saxophonist Mitch Marcus helps steer the way for his ensemble's progressive-jazz/fuzoid attack with the agility and timeliness of a rapid-response unit. Not for the squeamish, the preponderance of these works consist of snaky dual-sax choruses and blitzing guitar unison runs atop pulsating rhythms. Electric guitarist Michael Abraham adds a significant edge here via his rangy, distortion-drenched licks as the band uses space to its advantage.

On "Last Mourning, they generate a loose groove vibe, sparked by Marcus and fellow saxophonist Sylvain Carton. It's hot and nasty all-right, but bassist George Ban-Weiss tempers the flow some, during his extended solo, where the fireworks reemerge due to Abraham's wily, super-speed solo. In other regions of this outing, the quintet touches on free-bop along with little big-band like horn arrangements, and then toss in a few shades of Mingus for good measure. No doubt, Marcus and Carton loom as a formidable twin-sax attack. And with "G.C. they render a bump-and-grind motif, spiced-up by Abraham's close-handed chord progressions and harmonics.

Overall, The Special looms as one of the unanticipated surprises of 2007. In effect, this unit enjoys residing in the fast lane amid more than just a few, rapidly-accelerating turns and shifts in momentum.

Track Listing: Paisano; Last Mourning; Inditrianego; G.C.; Dave's Castle; Not Then, But Now; The Joey Rubber Special.

Personnel: Mitch Marcus: tenor saxophone; Sylvain Carton: alto and tenor saxophone; Ches Smith: drums; George Ban-Weiss: bass; Michael Abraham: guitar. Special guest: Erik Jekabson: flugelhorn(5).

Title: The Special | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jazzcubed


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Countdown 2 Meltdown

Countdown 2 Meltdown

Porto Franco Records

The Special

The Special



Related Articles

Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Poetry of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review
The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Unknowable CD/LP/Track Review
The Unknowable
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Like A Radio CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "First Light" CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Blow, Strike & Touch" CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Don't Look Down" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Look Down
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Old Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Old Soul
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017