Ben Markley is hard core, as a steelworker, but for bebop traditionalism, as here in his new ?Second Introduction.? Prominent influences from Bud Powell to Barry Harris and Phineas Newborn Jr, noted for their 'no holds barred' attitude to the great American legacy, Jazz.
Of course, many young musicians assembled after earlier evening gigs to play this new style, turning standards into improvisational tour de force in the 1940's, after hours at Minton's in Harlem, to a new bebop, the likes of Bud, Dizzy, Monk and Parker. And celebrated by this young jazz pianist.
And when you hear him play, like Red Garland, ?But Beautiful? as a trio with Evan Gregor bass and Jordan Perlson. Markley develops a nice solo, his timing is impeccable, as if you were at the Top of The Park on Gotham jazz radio. Ben Markley attended Fort Hays University, Hays, Ks. and didn't decide to pursue music full time until his third year. He studied with Frank Mantooth whose jazz orchestra and stunning arrangements, backed Kevin Mahogany's recent big band CD. In 2005, Markley studied at NYU with Brian Lynch, Dave Hazeltine and Joe Lovano.
This kind of music is serious business in the big city and Ben Markley makes it so reflective in his new CD ?Second Introduction.?
Markley's tunes also feature Greg Gisbert on trumpet, Jim Pisano on saxophone with some hard core bop. They score through it, with wicked, rise and shine, Markley bop harmonies, identities, reflective in nice tight solos.
Imagine the inner noir blue note evenings with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan with ?An Aperitif? and soaring JimmySpaulding's alto runs and that's how Ben Markley has it all down. As the folks used to say, ?He's got some good ears.? ?5-20,? ?Dry,? ?One For Cedar,?(Cedar Walton, pianist of the Hank Mobley's 1967 ?Third Season? CD) are great hard bop vehicles. ?The Ninth One's Free? is hard core bop. This kind of music drenched in late night testosterone. An Ode, to be young again with that kind of muscle! That's what Ben Markley creates in ?Second Introduction.? ?As It Comes? is a nostalgic refrain with horns, majestic as ?Poinciana? was for Ahmad Jamal, some forty years ago. ?Two To Go? is another hard core heroic bop tune with kind a ?Three Blind Mice? hook to it.
Young Ben Markley becomes the heroic messenger for hard bop maniacs, who fondly recall black & white noir, as the way to go in the fifties, ?Breathless? as Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg chase each other's long ago. Ben Markley's new CD, ?Second Introduction? has that kind of street credibility.