Reviews that mention Michael Marcus

September 12, 2021

Michael Marcus/Joe McPhee/Jay Rosen/Warren Smith

Blue Reality Quartet
Mahakala Music MAHA 015

Rodrigo Amado This Is Our Language Quartet

Let the Free Be Men

Trost TR 209

Joining a growing cadre of mature improvisers who continue innovating in their Golden Years is American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee. McPhee who will be 82 in November is just as peripatetic and busy as he was a half century ago, maybe busier. He’s also game to add his skills to any ensemble, fitting in seamlessly. These discs, recorded when he was only 78 or 80 respectively confirm this. Each session approaches free music in a contrary manner. MORE

December 23, 2013

8th Annual Jazz Critics Poll – NPR Music

Ken Waxman
(The New York City Jazz Record, Jazz Word)


1. Convergence Quartet, Slow and Steady (NoBusiness)

2. Andrew Cyrille, Duology (Jazzwerkstatt)

3. Black Host, Life in the Sugar Candle Mines (Northern Spy)

4. Scott Neumann, Blessed (Origin)

5. Michel Edelin, Resurgence (RogueArt)

6. Ab Baars-Meinard Kneer-Bill Elgart, Give No Quarter (Evil Rabbit)

7. Maria Faust, Jazz Catastrophe (Barefoot)

8. Barry Altschul, The 3dom Factor (TUM)

9. Mark Dresser, Nourishments (Clean Feed)

10. Alexey Kruglov-Alexey Lapin-Jaak Sooäär-Oleg Yudanov, Military Space (Leo) MORE

September 3, 2013

Andrew Cyrille

Jazz Werkstatt JW 123

When is a duo not a duo? Answer: when it has three equal members.

At least that’s what happens on this cleverly tempered CD, when clarinetist Michael Marcus and trumpeter Ted Daniel, who have been working as Duology at least since 2007, invited master percussionist Andrew Cyrille along for this outing.

In truth the duology tag is appropriate on the tracks where either the reed man or the brass man lays out. But the full extent of this exceptional collaboration is most apperent when Duology become a three-sided combo. Cyrille, one of Jazz’s most accomplished drummers, has been affiliated with major figures ranging from saxophonists Coleman Hawkins to Anthony Braxton, plus a long tenure with pianist Cecil Taylor. Daniel, who also plays flugelhorn and khakhai here, is another veteran of Cyrille’s vintage whose affiliations have ranged from guitarist Sonny Sharrock to violinist Billy Bang. A decade younger, Marcus moves in similar circles as the others, having recorded with multi-reedist Sonny Simmons and bassist William Parker, to name two long-time affiliations. Considering the instrumentation, the antecedent for the contrapuntal and chromatic, approach would be the group clarinetist John Carter and cornetist Bobby Bradford led in late 1960s-early 1970s MORE

July 4, 2013

Festival Report:

JazzWeksttatt Peitz
By Ken Waxman

More than 40 years after East Germany’s so-called free jazz paradise regularly attracted Woodstock-sized crowds to this town, about 20 kilometres from the Polish border – and three years after it was revived after a 29-year government-nudged hiatus – JazzWeksttatt Peitz is still working to define its identity

Celebrated in its earlier days as perhaps the one place young East Germans could camp in the open air and experience Western-styled peace and love vibes, albeit with a jazz rather than a rock soundtrack, the festival celebrated its 50th program June 7-9, inviting 21 acts to perform in four different venues, with “open air” now an enclosed tent with rows of chairs. MORE

August 23, 2004


Cosmosamatics Three
Boxholder BXH 041

Ayler AYL006-CD

A versatile, but unappreciated multi-reedman, New York-based Michael Marcus proves that he can hold his own alongside Free Jazz legends on these CDs.

Not only that, but a comparison of the two discs -- one recorded in 1993 and the other in 2002 and 2003 -- shows a remarkable consistency in his approach to improvisations. THREE is probably the more challenging, since Marcus, who is part of Saxemble as well as leading his own groups, shares the front line of the Cosmosamatics with Sonny Simmons. MORE

June 3, 2003


Live in Paris
Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1151

JAMEEL MOONDOC TENTET Live at the Vision Festival
Ayler aylCD-047

One of the most recognizable members of New York’s third generation Free Jazz players from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s, alto saxophonist Jameel Moondoc, along with associates like bassist William Parker and trumpeter Roy Campbell, was everywhere during that epoch, usually leading his own band.

Like other non-commercial players though, he seemed to vanish -- some said into architecture -- shortly afterwards. But he’s been front-and-centre and recording again since the mid-1990s. These two live CDs, made up of his composition and arrangements, show that he still surrounds himself with notable sidemen and plays firmly in the Free Jazz tradition. They also may offer hints for his hiatus. MORE

December 23, 2002


Artikulationen II
2ND Floor CD 009

Speakin’ Out
Drimala DR 02-347-04

Despite the proliferation of solo saxophone sessions over the past few years, creating a CD that is both intellectually challenging for the player and sufficiently captivating for the listener is very difficult. Woodwinds weren’t designed to assume the role people take for granted with the piano, guitar or violin and it usually takes every ounce of skill for reed masters such as Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker and John Butcher to formulate their memorable solo discs. MORE