MARBIN – Breaking The Cycle

Moonjune

So, this is what Paul Wertico and Steve Rodby – the historic rhythm section of Pat Metheny Group – do when they’re not snoring during the 447.345th rendition of “Last Train Home”? Good for them, and an important sponsorship for this duo of Israeli youngsters, who allegedly knocked at the drummer’s door one night to have him listen to their work (…want to try this with some mafia-hyped Italian nobody? You’ll probably get devoured by trained pit-bulls). Marbin – guitarist Dani Rabin and saxophonist Danny Markovitch – can really handle the instruments, that’s for sure. The technical command is impressive, spreading around a vast knowledge of genres: klezmer (above everything else) to blues, fusion to “classy” easy listening. This CD shows the kids’ chops yet is not limited to being a “look-what-I’m-capable-of-doing” sort of multi-sample. Even if not everywhere (pieces such as “Outdoor Revolution” and “Western Sky” are fit for cheap soundtracks, to be honest), there is substance behind the virtuosity and the honeyed themes. The generation of catchy melodies is a drink of water for the couple; when placed over harmonic structures that warrant at least a modicum of significance, one listens effortlessly while smiling in paternal consent (“Claire’s Indigo”, “The Old Silhouette”). A lot of labour is needed in terms of compositional skill, of course; however, the fundamental sincerity makes me forgive what usually would be cruelly stigmatized. A record that didn’t damage my tolerance despite the undemanding musicality, its value coming more from the still unexpressed potential of the musicians than the rather unexceptional content. Remember, though: sooner or later these guys will become famous, either you like the music or not, because the stuff they play is going to appeal to masses in search of technically advanced digestibility.

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