Marbin, “African Shabtay” from Aggressive Hippies (2015): One Track Mind

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The insanely talented duo Danny Markovitch (saxophones) and Dani Rabin (guitar) convene once again for a Marbin album, and Aggressive Hippies (October 5 2015, MoonJune Records) serves up more rock-jazz with flavorings from every corner of the world. That’s just what we loved about their powerfully diverse previous release Last Chapter Of Dreaming (2013).

The distinction with Hippies comes from how the songs are put together. Says Markovitch: “The songs are constructed from many small sections, which is very different than the melody-solo-melody form we used exclusively in the past, and I think it propels the music forward and keeps it engaging the entire time.”

Take one listin to “Afrcian Shabtay” and you know he ain’t lyin’. The song gallops out of the gate with blistering unison lines for an intro and another one for the main section, which could very well pass for an African folk melody but speeded up to Ferrari levels. When ‘Mar’ (Markovitch) and ‘Bin’ (Rabin) finally split apart almost a minute and a half into the song so the saxophonist can reel off some klezmer diction, they’ve already moved on to another section.

Another motif sets the stage for Rabin’s solo, whereby a synth effect applied to his guitar throws off the sonic illusion of him playing in unison with a keyboardist. All along, the rhythm section of Greg Essig (drums) and John W. Lauler (bass) are crisp in their effortless support throughout a very challenging chart.

Not content with the high bar they previously set for themselves, Marbin raises their game higher still for “African Shabtay” and Aggressive Hippies.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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