Marbin, Fernweh Review
By Sylvannia Garutch
Marbin is back with their twelfth album titled Fernweh, a German word for wanderlust that means specifically to be homesick for a place you have never been. The album, which consists of ten exclusively jazz standards songs, is a departure from Marbin’s all original jazz-rock-fusion. Instead, the album is an all-acoustic approach in the gypsy-swing style. Marbin is Dani Rabin – guitar, Danny Markovitch – saxophone, and Jon Nadel – bass. Both Rabin and Markovitch have deep roots within the jazz tradition, specifically, gypsy-jazz and swing. This album will be a listening experience of new textures for Marbin fans. Still, it will also interest fans of Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and swing and gypsy-jazz lovers in general.
“All of Me” opens with a cool intro riff from Rabin and Markovitch. Rabin’s steady chord strumming is steady and moves effortlessly between voicings. Markovitch’s phrasing, tone, and vibrato all bring the gypsy-jazz and swing era out authentically. Rabin’s guitar solo is fluidly in the gypsy guitar tradition with beautiful flowing lines that keep the time and feel intact while dazzling with technical wizardry. Markovitch pushes forward with excitement, and his character on the horn is stunning. Each phrase is passionate, and his personality really shines through, all while keeping the swing and gypsy jazz sound intact. Rabin explains, “It was important to us to arrange and play the music in a way that is faithful to the original spirit of the songs, and at the same time push the boundaries of how this music was played.”
“Nuages” reveals how Marbin is faithful to the tradition while still playing it in their own style and unique character. Markovitch expands: “This album is not Dani and Danny playing like Reinhardt and Bechet, like many of these albums tend to be, but us playing music that we love ourselves, just within the boundaries and limitations of the appropriate harmonic, rhythmic and sonic of the style.” “Nuages” has elements of Reinhardt’s style in Rabin’s solo, but he also has harmonic and rhythmic elements that bring that style to today’s jazz language beautifully. Markovitch is obviously familiar with Bechet’s style and tone, but he still expands that style with his own flawless technique and charisma.
Fernweh is another impressive release by the ever evolving and surprising Marbin. The ensemble clearly believes in the music and delivers a vivid, flowing presentation that ably the swing and gypsy-jazz style. The music’s virtuoso demands clearly don’t faze Markovitch and Rabin, and the recording engineers capture the artist’s warmth and performances in well-balanced sonics. The result is a completely successful addition to the ever-diverse Marbin repertoire.