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Strong Thing
(2019 - Marbin Music - USA)

On their 8th album, Marbin further proves their ability to not only excite and go past their already supreme jazz fusion formulas, but add to it with blues and rock out angles. With as much material and variety as they have produced over the last years, it is a given that any live concert by them is bound to be alive with energy and ideas galore. This studio recording 'Strong Thing' brings gusto and girth that of Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, and axe giants like that to the forefront. Intense riffs (both guitars and sax) and 70's euphoria fill the air with the first cut 'Messy Mark', presenting the listener with a hard dose of the atmosphere of this fist pumping release.

Members Dani Rabin (guitar), Danny Markovitch (saxophone), Jon Nadel (bass), and newcomer Everette Benton Jr (drums) have more fresh music to offer their fans. Founder Dani Rabin says “Unlike other bands that record an album and then tour to promote it, we approach our albums more like comedians creating their specials. We tour with a set of new material for a year and when it comes time to record it, we just go to the studio and bang it out the same way we do in our live shows.” He also tells the stories about the song titles to the audience at those live shows. All the titles are named after one of the various and often wild road occurrences. Listening to the songs, they do indeed bring out images and movies for the mind, whether the intended or not.

The ease of how the musicians play is notable. Of course there is experience beyond the years among these guys. Dani Rabin has a smooth and seemingly effortless execution on his guitar, and when the saxophone is added, it is equally as superb and adds a second dimension that instantly goes from rock jam to jazz fusion, then beyond. The new drummer infuses more strength, yet keeps an even horsepower. Marbin show their gentle side as well, with 'Just A Little Bit (Part 1)', slowing things down a bit, showing finesse in abundance. They go even deeper into the delicate mode with 'Just A Little Bit (Part 2)' which follows. This also develops into an emotional kick near as intense as the first track. A fearless guitar lead thrills the ears once again.

'Alabama Sock Party' kicks butt with what fans of Dixie Dregs always dug. Marbin shake things up with that quick paced over the shoulder five minute skirmish. It is also a chance for Jon Nadel to throw in a cool bass solo, along with Danny Markovitch killing it on a sax display. The title cut (s) 'Strong Thing (Part 1) starts off in a funky jazz style, slowly building a brick house, going places from royalty to curious frontiers. Part 2 begins with intensity that could have been on their 'Israeli Jazz' (2018) album, with roving melody lines, both eastern and western, blending the jazz and rock ardor to the brim. It develops into an explosion of colors and heat. 'Fisticuffs' part 1 and 2 both give more of this tasteful highly slick and soulful passion to the willing audience. Marbin, who are an all instrumental quartet, do a favor to the music world with this beautiful platter, not only rich in content but full of positive vibes and devotion. It has a classic feel already, with a solid foundation that has been grown and groomed. They have gained respect from the world as a band who think past the ordinary and play like it was their last performance each time.
   ©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 1 - 18 - 2020     


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