Posted 01/24/2010 by cal
You might see the term “ambient jazz” and think Kenny G or elevator
music, but you’d be way off. Instead, imagine some sparse Brian Eno soundscapes
with guitar and sax layered on top. For that extra kick, add some
occasional Middle Eastern rhythmic flavor, and you’ve got the gist of Marbin. The
Israeli duo (now based in Chicago) has crafted some gorgeous, mellow
mood music on its self-titled debut. Saxophonist Danny Markovitch is a
bebop player in essence, crisp and breathy, reminiscent of Phil Woods at times.
Guitarist Dani Rabin mixes traditional jazz noodling with folky
acoustic strumming, prickly classical fingerpicking and echoey dream
sequences (à la Buckethead’s
Colma). “Crystal Bells” puts the whole package together best,
quietly insistent and hauntingly melodic, but with plenty of room for
both soloists to stretch out. It’s all very laid back, but the great
musicianship will keep you intrigued.