Thursday, December 9, 2010
Eugene Marlow's Heritage Ensemble and Their New CD "Celebrations"
This is the season when festive light and musical celebrations come together for a few weeks, regardless of one's religious affiliations. I admit I am just a little late on this one (though good music is timeless). There's a nice CD by Eugene Marlow's Heritage Ensemble that will help bring some light into the early winter. Celebrations (MeII) takes four traditional melodies from the Chanukah festival, two from Purim, and one original, and puts together a program of some very cool modern Latin and contemporary jazz.
Eugene Marlow did the arrangements and plays a nice funky set of keys. The irrepressible master of the pocket, Bobby Sanabria is on drums, virtually guaranteeing that things will be hip. Michael Hashim puts in a good effort on the reeds and the engine room is completed by a limber Frank Wagner on bass and Cristian Rivera stoking the flames on Latin percussion.
Now with these sorts of musical adaptations, the music either works or it doesn't. It works, thanks to the very good chemistry of the band and Mr. Marlow's excellent arranging instincts and talents, not to mention his very lively presence at the keys. Michael and Bobby make the music breathe too--but then the whole band is on the mark here.
This is excellent music! And it fits the season. It fits any season.