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Friday, March 16, 2018

Marbin - Israeli Jazz

It’s been almost a good while and a few years since I’ve listened to Marbin’s music. They have put out six albums, one of which is a live album they’ve released four years ago. For me, they’ve been one of my favorite bands to come out of Chicago that combines the essence of both Progressive Rock and Jazz Fusion that is rolled into a big gigantic blender.

This year, they’ve released their seventh album entitled, Israeli Jazz. Both Dani Rabin and Danny Markovitch grew up not just the sounds of Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Folk Music, but Israeli music in their hometown. Danny describes the naming of the album as an appropriate title because it makes them whole. And while they look through the roots in their hometown in Israel, but also drawing the four traditions of music to create a consistent vision.

And it’s a perfect naming of their new album. It shows that Marbin have come a long way since their formation 11 years ago. And are they ever going to stop? Absolutely not! I’ve always wanted to discover what both Rabin and Markovitch will come up with next. And they’ve never disappointed me by each release they’ve brought to the worlds of Jazz, Prog, Blues, and Hard Rock.

In my opinion, they’ve opened the doors to see what Marbin will be cooking up with next. And the album cover of a bird shooting flames out of its mouth is not just how good this album is, but adding some hot and spicy flavors on here. Swamp House makes you take a trip towards the bayous of Louisiana on a canoe. Stroking down the river on the hottest part of the day, hearing Rabin’s guitar bringing the essence of down-home swamp rock.

With the essence of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s golden-era of the late ‘60s as Dani channels the riff styles of John Fogerty followed by the twists of New Orleans Jazz that Markovitch plays on his sax. They do this incredible melodic duel between some odd time changes as Danny follows the listener towards the night on life of the French Quarter as if Marbin threw their own version of Mardi Gras with a punch at the Preservation Hall.

The title-track gives Dani a chance to get the engine revved up and ready to drive into unbelievable locations. There is this nod to the Mahavishnu Orchestra on here thanks to the speeding tempo they do. Markovitch’s sax at times sounds like Jerry Goodman’s violin while Dani goes through various speeds as if he’s making sure he’s not running low on fuel.

At the 4 minute and 37 second mark, the band go through a tunnel for relaxations as Markovitch lays down some mind-blowing improvisation. And as they reach the light at the end of the tunnel by around the 7-minute mark, they finally reach the end for the highest mark to close it with a crescendo. 

Jon Nadel goes into some funky slap-and-pop bass workout on Arkansas Jumper. He comes at times center stage to bring some grooves that give him some free-rein on his instrument. The only criticism I have with this track is that I wish he had more time on this track so that Nadel could bring some brainstorming ideas so that he extended the minutes more and more.

Now Marbin takes the listener to the sounds of Russian music with Moscow Mule. The style of the arranging and composition has essence of a traditional Russian folk dance with a kick. Dani goes through these various landscapes of the largest nation of the world. The militant drumming by Blake Jiracek and Dani’s guitar makes you wonder how much appreciation they have for Ennio Morricone which is evidential on Breaking the Cycle from 2013’s Last Day of Dreaming.

Nadel comes back for another bass workout to take the frets by going up-and-down as if it is really in some fast walking speed while Pirate Punch makes you feel as if you are on an abandoned 18th century ship as if you are lost in the middle of the pacific ocean. There’s no wind set to sail, cabin fever, and everything going into a panic mode.

The music sets up the scenario through a bluesy atmosphere as Dani sets up the loneliness by going from calmness to raising the temperature level. Then, Blake and Jon go into the driving mode before Markovitch in the last 2 minutes of the piece by showing the listener that there is hope to see a sign of land to be away from the ocean and finding freedom.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Marbin have been around for 11 years and Israeli Jazz shows that the duo have come a long way. This is really another follow-up that we can see and wonder what Marbin will think of next.

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