MARTY EHRLICH'S DARK WOODS ENSEMBLE: LIVE WOOD
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Profiled in a recent issue of The New Yorker, Marty Ehrlich is one of the most interesting figures in contemporary jazz. "Although he is known primarily as a jazz musician," writes Malinké Elliott in his liner notes to this album, "one can hear many diverse voices speaking from the music he composes and performs. First and foremost there are the rhythms and vocabularies of jazz. Next, there are the structural approaches of classical music. Into the mix he has added the dance rhythms and the spirit-calling vocal intonations of his Semitic heritage. If one listens deeply enough, one will also hear the distant echo of the Native American and the Japanese Shaguhachi flutes.
This music is not linked in a linear fashion. It's more than simply a matter of playing in one style and then moving on to the next. Everything is justified within a framework of compositional integrity. The music exists as a series of transparent textures layered one upon another defining a path that goes from reflection to vigor to reflection. There is rigorous attention paid to meter and melody. Underpinning this heady mixture of the sophisticated and the primitive, content and context, is the heart and soul of a blues player from St. Louis."