Deep grooves, sweet swing and dynamic interplay...This album is one of those sparkling, straightahead gems that can convert pop fans into jazz acolytes.
For Ben Markley's fourth recording, the fleet pianist/composer teams with New York tenor saxophone great Joel Frahm for a dynamic set of modern jazz originals. Though written specifically with the band of Frahm, drummer Jim White, and bassist Marty Kenny in mind, Markley continually finds inspiration from significant influences in his musical life, most notably Cedar Walton, Chick Corea and Bill Evans. With engaging and elevating support from Kenney and White, Markley and Frahm pop on the boogaloo "'Mon Back," strike a Jazz Messengers-esque pose on the grooving "Return of Catboy," and strut on the half-time funk of the title tune. "Frahm's playing bubbles over with ear-catching inventiveness and a robust, positive feeling." Ottawa Citizen.
1 The Last Time This Happened 6:56
2 Max's Mission 8:51
3 'Mon Back 9:08
4 Blindsight 6:52
5 Slow Play 7:36
6 Sentience 6:14
7 The Return of Catboy 5:13
8 One for Armando 5:20
All Compositions by Ben Markley
Markley Music / BMI
Ben Markley - Piano
Joel Frahm - Tenor Saxophone & Soprano Sax (6)
Marty Kenney - Bass
Jim White - Drums
Andy Wheelock - Congas (2,8)
Produced by Ben Markley
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Colin Bricker
at Mighty Fine Studios - Denver, CO
Recorded March 1, 2019
Band photo by Dougan Smith
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Written specifically for the cats surrounding him on this set, the result is one of those smoking mainstream sets you hear on late evening jazz shows that always amaze you in that the players forgot to put in clichés. Never taking the easy way out but never making it hard on the listener, this piano man and his pals are out to show you a regally ...
Downbeat (Bobby Reed)
EDITOR'S PICK In the liner notes to his new quartet album, Slow Play, pianist Ben Markley proudly cites pianist Cedar Walton (1934–2013) as one of his key influences. The disc is a follow-up to the Ben Markley Big Band's Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton (OA2), which received a 4-star review in the July 2017 issue of DownBeat. On his current ...
WTJU (Dave Rogers)
Pianist Ben Markley offers eight original compositions and his quartet extraordinaire, including Joel Frahm (tenor sax, soprano sax on one song), Marty Kenney (bass) and Jim White (drums) with guest Andy Wheelock adding congas on two songs. The songs swing and jump for all they're worth for beginning to end as the piano and sax intertwine and react ...
All About Jazz (Paul Rauch)
4-STARS Pianist/composer Ben Markley has shown deft touch in hand picking projects that express the broad range of his relationship with the music. Since 2017 he has produced a rousing big band tribute to Cedar Walton, and a slick quartet record with saxophonist Greg Osby. Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton (OA2, 2017) featured Markley's insight ...
All About Jazz (Jack Bowers)
4-STARS The jacket cover on this splendid new studio recording from OA2 Records reads "Ben Markley Quartet Featuring Joel Frahm," and for good reason: the New York City-based saxophonist lends considerable improvisational weight to Slow Play, which would be a far different animal without him. That's not to say that pianist Markley, bassist Marty K ...