Written By: Warren J. McCrickard
Label: Self-Released – Rating:
If I was a cook preparing a dish of Marbin’s ambient jazz sounds, I’d start with the melodious saxophone of Hank Mobley, throw in some Godfrey Reggio’s directed, Philip Glass’ scored Koyaanisqatsi, and drizzle a little Uri Bracha on top.
What’s impressive about Marbin’s sound is the blend of so many familiar jazz modes delivered in a fresh, new way that is hard to describe yet easy to listen to and enjoy.
Marbin is guitarist Dani Rabin and saxophonist Danny Markovitch joined in an inventive jazz duo for the release of a full length, self-titled album Marbin.
At times the album will move the listeners’ mind to survey the landscapes of the Middle East and then almost immediately, yet subtly move them to the imaginary, heavily wooded forest that most sigur rós fans spend their time. In addition to cerebral locations of the backdrop sounds, Dani & Danny take turns providing solos that require the attention of the listener using traditional nuances matched with contemporary driving rhythms.
To try and incorporate so many styles is dangerous, yet Marbin does so in a manner that seems effortless but on careful listening is very constructed. It is in the character of the multifaceted sounds that what would be chaos becomes more trancelike and soothing.
In the song “Mei,” there is a soft voice that whispers as a lullaby to lift and expand the listeners’ musical palate to prepare it for the intricate solos that follow. The hushed background beneath the solos provides a consistency that softens the coarseness natural of a lead part. If using the Japanese tree, mei, as inspiration for this song, then one could imagine a scene where the tree is seen by a lone visitor. Its Siren, with her beautiful, delicate flowers and lush fruit entices the visitor to partake. The visitor is conflicted on whether to only enjoy the view or to become a participant with its bounty. The visitor ultimately gives in to the smells, sights, and tastes from the tree.
Listening to this song as well as the others included on the album invites the listener to draw visual interpretations and at times those visions can become very real and present. Marbin uses the ebb and flow, the staccato and legato, to ensure the sound is fresh and unique, always open for interpretation.
While not forsaking traditional jazz, Marbin has stepped into a new arena and introduced a dynamic collection of songs that should be welcomed by a vast array of both jazz and world music fans.