Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Eugene Marlow's Heritage Ensemble, Changes

Eugene Marlow's Heritage Ensemble returns with their sixth album, Changes (MeII). It is something a bit different from the ensemble, in that they do not use as source material Judaic melodies, but instead strike out on their own with a set of originals. The band retains the strengths of its fine players, Eugene Marlow on piano and arrangements, Bobby Sanabria on drums, Michael Hashim on alto and soprano, Frank Wagner on bass and Matthew Gonzalez on percussion.

There are a couple of worthy duos for piano and bass, one with a scat vocal by Marlow. There are some Latin tinged numbers, no surprise there, and some otherwise contemporary bopping/post-bopping jazz.

All the players get a chance to shine and the music ranges from the directly swinging to the edgy.

With the concentrated inspiration of the band and the nicely laid out originals time flies quickly, and before you know it you are at the program's conclusion.

This may not be the place to start with for the Heritage Ensemble, fine as the album is. The Judaic-tinged CDs give us something more startling in their combination of modern jazz and Jewish heritage. (See the search box above for my reviews of several of those albums.) Nonetheless Changes reminds us that all are very accomplished artists no matter what the setting, and the different settings give us another side of the music in nicely done terms.

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