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Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Dan Bilawsky
Lyrical strains and muscular machinations are a counterintuitive combination, but trombonist Marshall Gilkes is living proof that they need not be mutually exclusive methods of musical dissemination. Gilkes has made a name for himself through his work with Colombian harp hero Edmar Castaneda, the Maria Schneider Orchestra and many others, but the full scope of his talents is better observed on his own albums.
Gilkes first gained wide recognition with "Puddle Jumping," from his 2004 debut, Edenderry (Alternate Side). His unerring accuracy on difficult-to-execute creations of his own design, along with his tonal clarity and sense of melody, immediately marked him as an important new voice. Since that time, Gilkes has lived up to and surpassed expectations, and he's made a name for himself as one of the guiding light trombonists of his generation.
His sophomore release, Lost Words (Alternate Side, 2008), was more nuanced, but Sound Stories bests them both in the category of compositional brilliance. Gilkes takes a page from Schneider's book, painting with rich harmonic color schemes and developing his ideas in through-composed fashion, but on the smaller scale of his quintet. Gilkes brings tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin - another Schneider-associated all star - aboard for this project, and he proves to be the perfect complimentary horn voice to fill out the front line. McCaslin is a rare artist who can sear eyebrows off with his intense playing, and then turn around a minute later and make people sigh at the beauty of his horn. Both skills prove to be useful during this program. ... read more...
Personnel: Marshall Gilkes (trombone); Donny McCaslin (tenor saxophone); Adam Birnbaum (piano); Eric Doob (drums).
Audio Mixer: Alex Venguer.
Recording information: MSR Studios, New York, NY (04/25/2011-04/26/2011).
Photographer: Diana Bejarano.