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CD Feature/ Mitch Marcus Quintet: "The Special"

img  Tobias

The ubiquitous, overused "Post-bop" may be the wrong catch-all for this San Fran fivesome, who are already headed for good things after a series of great reviews, most notably from a Wired wag who labeled them "21st century jazz," nice try.

Would that I had the time to dream up some similar categorization to die on the vine, but what this really is, in the end, is a highly cerebral form of metal/jazz fusion that's heavy on the improv. Confused Mingus-like spazzing stops on a dime to sketch out a lofty run that finds every group member on the same progressive-hard-bop page, which has, yes, been done by the few and the brave, but the joker in this deck is the guitar of Mike Abraham, which comes swooping over the proceedings with whatever guitar-god layer is called for – Primus in the case of "Inditrenago," Eddie van Halen in "Paisano."

Think of it as Minus the Bear squared, or Metallica fighting Sonny Rollins for a groupie-babe, but however you slice it, this is a commonsensical young band that knows it is just that, and that there are, therefore, no rules.

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Mitch Marcus Quintet

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