Marty Ehrlich The Long View

Ehrlich is one reed player that kept cropping up in my collection as a sideman to some very heavy new jazz icons (John Carter and Muhal Richard Abrams for example). In this work, he manages a culmination of sorts, that spans a history of influences and collaborators alike. The CD is a series of movements based on the paintings and process of artist Oliver Jackson, with whom Ehrlich shared a residency at Harvard. The whole concept of "movements” got me a bit nervous, but the CD itself turned out to be a focused, varied and very beautiful series of stories. That’s the only way I can really describe it. Each movement has its theme and involves composed section work as well as great improvising by a cast of 21 of some of the most talented improvisers around; Mark Dresser, Wayne Horvitz, Eddie Bobe to name a very few. You hear echoes of Ellington, Carter and Hemphill, but it never sounds too derivative; just a smile and a wave in passing. The Long View seamlessly balances complex compositional elements with down-home blues feels and some kick ass improvising resulting in a work of scope and integrity. (Enja)