Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!

271

Marty Ehrlich: Things Have Got To Change

By

Sign in to view read count
The clarity that's so immediately apparent in Marty Ehrlich's alto sound permeates his work, so that there's a quality at once naked and luminous in the music heard here. The quartet with trumpeter James Zollar, cellist Erik Friedlander and drummer Pheeroan AkLaff and the concept harkens back to the early Ornette Coleman Quartet, each member committed to an intense lyricism, an insistence on the emotional power of blues and hymn. There are moments in the opening "Rites Rhythm" that even suggest something as specific as Coleman's "Lonely Woman."

The Coleman sensibility, though, is clearly filtered through the music of Julius Hemphill: three of the compositions are his and the influence is heard in the instrumentation. While Friedlander can readily substitute for bass, his cello echoes the role of Abdul Wadud in Hemphill's band, most notably in the concluding version of Hemphill's "Dogon AD." Ehrlich's own tunes share the evocative power of Hemphill's and can touch on bop and chamber music, often in close proximity. The 11-minute "Some Kind of Prayer" is elegiac, moving at a slow tempo from a surprisingly orchestral beginning through moments of deep sorrow to an insistent resolution with the burred sound of trumpet at the conclusion. Elsewhere, there's sudden drama in the rising figure that initiates the moody "From Strength to Strength."

This is often collective creation and Ehrlich's clarity is a valuable quality in a musician so fond of counterpoint, alto and trumpet dovetailing together into new territory on the themes. Ultimately one is less impressed by Ehrlich's execution than by the emotional depth that he consistently summons up, his quartet acting as a perfect extension of his sensibility. The spare simplicity of akLaff's drumming is a special triumph here, another emotionally eloquent voice. This is significant music with a strong sense of lineage, a band that combines rare articulation with a strong sense of purpose.

Track Listing: Rites Rhythm; Dung; Some Kind of Prayer; On the One; Slices of Light; Song for Tomorrow; From Strength to Strength; Dogon AD.

Personnel: Marty Ehrlich: alto saxophone; James Zollar: trumpet; Erik Friedlander: cello; Pheeroan akLaff: drums.

Title: Things Have Got To Change | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Do For You?" CD/LP/Track Review Do For You?
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Nahnou Houm" CD/LP/Track Review Nahnou Houm
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Spavati, Mozda Sanjati" CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017

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!