CD Reachin' [Michael Marcus] (CD 356296),
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Reachin' [Michael Marcus]

  • 1. Picnic in Blue
    2. Constant, The
    3. Reachin'
    4. Forgotten Paradise
    5. Psalm Walk
    6. Along the Line
    7. Into Nowheresville
    8. Stritch'n'
    9. With You and Mind
    10. Feels Like Home
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 87

  • Credits
    ProducerJim West
    EngineerIan Terry

    Personnel: Michael Marcus (saxello, stritch, bass clarinet); Bruce Edwards (guitar); Steve Neil (bass); Cindy Blackman (drums).
    Recorded at Sound On Sound Studios, New York, New York on December 5, 1995.
    Includes liner notes by Sonny Simmons.
    Personnel: Michael Marcus (bass clarinet, saxophone, saxello, stritch, bass saxophone); Bruce Edwards (guitar); Cindy Blackman (drums).
    Liner Note Author: Sonny Simmons.
    Recording information: Sound On Sound Studios, NY (12/05/1995).
    Photographers: Cheung Ching Ming; Jim West.
    A transitional album of sorts, and an odd one at that, as Michael Marcus sticks to the mainstream with his unusual collection of reeds. Marcus has made a bit of a name for himself due in part to his mastery of the stritch and saxello, but although they may be challenging to play, their sound can be fairly conventional. Marcus is best when he breaks rules and puts himself out on a limb, something that he does well live but rarely does here. Too, his compositions are a mixed bag, sometimes setting a tone for some aggressive soloing but at others failing to inspire. The rhythm section does its best but ultimately it feels as though the group is simply going through motions. To his credit, Marcus gets a clean, full-bodied tone on his horns, and for those who have never heard a stritch or a saxello this may be a good way to be introduced to them. Still, considering Marcus' reasonably prolific output this album is probably not the best place for novices to be introduced to his work, as there are better examples on disc of his talent. Marcus states the heads easily, and then typically takes lengthy solos, even incorporating the equivalent of multi-phonics, a la Roland Kirk. Bruce Edwards, Cindy Blackman, and Steve Neil each contribute impressively, the latter in particular improvising imposingly on Forgotten Paradise. Despite its shortfalls, Reachin' presents Marcus and his colleagues in a sometimes sympathetic light that proves his mastery of a more conventional genre than which he is usually associated. ~ Steven Loewy

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