Title - 'Russian Dolls' / 'Ten Years in the Sun'
Artist - Marbin
For those not in the know, the best jazz always has one foot in tradition and one foot in innovation.
Danny Markovitch’s first solo venture, Russian Dolls, is no exception. In this album, with the help of four-time Grammy award winner and Golden Globe winner Antonio Sanchtez on drums, and Marbin's phenomenal Dani Rabin on guitar and bass, saxophonist Markovitch draws from jazz titans Charlie Parker, Julian “Cannonball” Adderely, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and more; whilst keeping his unique and recognizable voice.
1. 'When There Becomes Here' (6:00)
2. 'Yellow Roman Candles' (2:57
3. 'The Great Rosegray' (8:13)
4. 'Years That Ask Questions' (3:36)
5. 'Ships at a Distance' (4:18)
6. 'Years That Answer' (4:43)
7. 'Things of Dry Hours' (5:26)
The seven compositions, which are a beautiful mix of traditional jazz, Israeli folk music, and a shade of tango, begin with the free flowing, cultural sway of 'When There Becomes Here' and that is backed with the upbeat and perky 'Yellow Roman Candles' and that's followed by the well-constructed, eight minute opus 'The Great Rosegray.'
The Pink Panther-esque vibe to 'Years That Ask Questions' makes this one of my own personal favorites and that's followed by the quieter, more laid back 'Ships at a Distance,' with the album rounding out on the melodically soulful hipsway of both 'Years That Answer' and 'Things of Dry Hours.'
Danny explains the origins and title of the album: “At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, my wife found an old music notebook while reorganizing the house, and inside it there were many songs I wrote and never got to use."
"Discussing them with Dani Rabin, we decided there was more than enough substance in the songs to make a worthwhile album, providing we could recruit a great jazz drummer, which is an understatement when talking about Antonio."
"The album’s title refers to an idea from an essay written by my wife, who is Ukrainian and has several sets of these Russian nesting dolls."
The other album within this 2CD double set is Ten Years in the Sun (Solo Guitar) where the expression "ten years in the sun," as described in Hayao Miyazaki’s film The Wind Rises, encapsulates the notion that within every life there is an era of peak creative performance and opportunity.
1. 'For Soraya' (3:35)
2. 'Daffodil Machete' (2:19)
3. 'Ten Years in the Sun' (2:41)>br>
4. 'Shadow Waltz' (1:43)
5. 'Down and Out in Barcelona' (2:12)
6. 'Sandbox World' (2:00)
7. 'Strong Thing' (2:23)
8. 'Mom's Song' (2:35)
9. 'Polish Winter' (2:49)
10. 'November Guest' (2:26)
11. 'Mei' (2:31)
12. 'The Dark Green Hill' (3:55)
13. 'A Six Word Story' (2:23)
14. 'The Last Thing' (2:44)
Opening with the precise Latin guitar work of 'For Soraya,' that's backed by the quietly beautiful 'Daffodil Machete,' the ornate title track 'Ten Years in the Sun,' a briefly compassionate venture into 'Shadow Waltz,' and then we get the decisive string-picking of 'Down and Out in Barcelona' and the mid-tempo (for this kind of album) 'Sandbox World.'
'Strong Thing' and it's adamant, yet cultured ambrosia makes it one of my own personal favorites, and that's backed by the simply beautiful 'Mom's Song' (another personal favorite) and the harsher string play of 'Polish Winter' is then brought forth.
That mood somewhat ebbs into 'November Guest' which is itself followed by the fetchingly addictive overtones of 'Mei,' with the album rounding out on the gentle one-two push of 'The Dark Green Hill,' coming to a close on the translucent wonderment of both 'A Six Word Story' and 'The Last Thing.'
Dani Rabin tells the story behind the album: “The Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown caught my band Marbin in the midst of an exciting swing. The band was a few days into a thirty-seven-day tour when we had to cancel all of our shows, turn back, and drive 3,000 miles back home to Chicago."
"I knew it was the right thing to do as I didn't want to put our fans and band members in danger, but I was disheartened nonetheless. When I was home I was trying to figure out a way to keep my creative momentum going when I stumbled across an old notebook filled with ideas and fragments of songs we never got to use and I immediately knew what I had to do."
"The acoustic guitar has a soothing kind of quality to it and it gives the listener a very intimate experience. The melodies and harmonies stand out without all the bells and whistles of a full band, which I do like, but can also be somewhat distracting from the real essence of the music at times.”
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