Thursday, April 23, 2015

Marc Cary: Rhodes Ahead Vol. 2 - DownBeat

Marc Cary
Rhodes Ahead Volume 2

Keyboardist Marc Cary fills a whole power strip for his return to the chill-out tent. Aside from the Fender Rhodes, Cary employs a Hammond organ, an Access Virus synthesizer and a laptop to create his swirling sequel. Volume 1 of this project surfaced late in the last century and a lot of this follow-up feels like a snapshot of that same scene, untouched by changes to electronic music. Cary wrote or co-wrote most of the tunes, but the album's first full track is a driving take on Harold Mabern's "Beehive." Trumpeter Igmar Thomas drills a vibrant solo over drummer Terreon Gully's frenetic punches and Gully's fisticuffs work hard throughout, filling in the spaces with plenty of double-time kit work. Cary's "Eassaouira Walks" hinges on a repetitive Rhodes phrase, each note precisely pounded out. On his solo, a flock of electronic chatter hovers while Cary unleashes pentatonic inversions up and down the board, a common soloing feature. Cary's propulsive sound on "African Market" gets a boost from a vocoder and a bag of percussion jangled by Daniel Moreno. For a while, he harkens back to a more Stevie Wonder/Bernie Worrell funk that has a loping charm. Album closer, "The Alchemist's Notes" features an organic feel with an impassioned spoken word performance from Sharif Simmons. Seven minutes before the end, the band finally feels relaxed, floating in the trip-hop ether.

Marc Cary @ DownBeat

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