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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US based band MARBIN was formed in 2007 by Danny Markovitch and Dani Rabin, and they released their debut album two years later. Since then Marbin has become firmly established as a live band, with hundreds of concerts all over the United States under their belt. They were also signed to Moonjune Records a few years back, and so far they have released two more studio albums on that label. "The Third Set" is their fourth full length production, and was released through Moonjune Records in the fall of 2014.

Marbin, as they come across on "The Third Set", appears to be a band that thrives on mixing elements from many different styles into their very own and specific take on jazz rock and jazz fusion. The sound is generally a gritty one, with plenty of details borrowed from traditional blues based hard rock, but generally explored within a jazz or jazz rock oriented framework. As Marbin comes across as an extremely tight live band, they manage to pull of their blend of styles in an excellent manner, and while they may get to be a tad too elongated or too chaotic at times they maintain a high level of interest throughout. A strong live album by a strong live band, and a production that merits a check by those who enjoy high quality instrumental jazz rock that blends in a fair amount of blues and hard rock, with a touch of metal as the icing on the cake.

Report this review (#1293873)
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an amazing band! Everytime I listen to Marbin, I simply wish to see them live in concert in the near future, because it is obvious they provide wonderful shows full of energy, jazz fusion/rock and craziness, one can tell by the music included in "The Third Set", a live album recorded from March to April 2013 and released a few months ago under the Moonjune Records label. Of course, I want to thank Leonardo Pavkovic for once again introducing me to wonderful groups.

The album features 10 songs and a total time of 65 minutes where Dani Rabin and Danny Markovitch, wonderfully joined by Justyn Lawrence and Jae Gentile, make first class music where our senses hide from reality and enter to a lunatic, yet adorable musical realm. The first track is "Special Olympics" and since the very first seconds one can perceive the energy, the power that these guy bring on stage, so it is easy to make a mind-trip and virtually attend to their show. The guitar work is simply amazing, this time more oriented to the rock side, but the jazz fusion side is always present somehow.

With "The Depot", they share a nice blend of rock & blues with a great progress, I mean, though it might start slowly, all of a sudden you realize they are jamming with a faster rhythm. Bass and drums prepare us for the show, while guitar first amazes us with its riffs, and later sax brings its cadency. "Crystal Bells" has a softer touch, relaxing sound produced by guitar, after a couple of minutes bass joins and a new structure is being prepared, later drums enter and now the music becomes trippy, rockier. It is always great when sax adds its special touch, there are some moments I would love to listen to it more frequently, however it appears when it has to.

"Redline" makes my wishes come true, because the saxophone has a main role here so it creates wonderful passages where the virtuosity of Markovitch stands out! There is craziness included in this track, and one thing is sure, you will enjoy it and you will shake your head. Some minutes later the guitar takes the lead, and the jam prevails, offering 8 minutes of pure bliss. "Culture" brings a sax introduction as a solo, almost two minutes later guitars, drums and bass enter and together create a magnificent act of deep intensity. In moments, they remind me of Mexican band Luz de Riada, whose live shows are as amazing as the Marbin ones.

"Vanthrax" sums up what we have been listening to so far: jazz fusion explosions, bombastic guitar riffs, great structures made by bass and drums, and the introduction of an exquisite saxophone in the right moments. "Rabak" provides craziness once again; I adore the energy the band implements, because it is simply contagious. Also worth mentioning they diverse inner changes in the songs, because they also give us relaxing moments, where one can take a breath after their faster moments.

One of my favorite tracks is "Splaw", here I totally love the bass player's work, it sounds clean and productive, always bringing the accurate rhythms no matter if guitar or sax are on their soft or crazy side. A wonderful blend of rock, jazz and even blues can be appreciated here. "Northern Oddyssey" is the shortest track, and it is about a ballad-like moment led by saxophone. Finally, "Volta" closes this wonderful live album. It has a sax oriented introduction, and then the expected explosion comes. So it goes until the very end, leaving us totally excited!

It is a great album without a doubt, recommended for those who love instrumental jazz fusion / jazz rock. My final grade, four solid stars.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#1330265)
Posted Monday, December 29, 2014 | Review Permalink

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