Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ROW: Warne Marsh - Warne Out (Interplay)

An inventory of Warne Marsh’s discography immediately reveals a heavy skew toward the Seventies. Decades prior weren’t nearly as kind toward the documenting of the tenorist’s art. This set remains rarity even within the context of the comparative bounty of offerings that accompany his later years. Recorded over three days in the spring of 1977 in drummer Nick Ceroli’s home studio, it’s a bit of a mixed affair in regards to audio fidelity. The extended opportunity to hear Marsh extol his personal philosophy toward melodic improvisation and interpolation sans a traditional chordal instrument immediately compensates. Ceroli doesn’t stray far from the typical Tristano School decorum of securing a steady beat for his colleagues, though there are sporadic segments where he does loosen the self-imposed straight jacket. Bassist Jim Hughart has more latitude and his period-amplified lines create a springy weave for Warne’s flights, especially on the lovely “Ballad”. There’s no ambiguity about it being Marsh’s show though and the familiar chord changes rigged with fresh melodic ornamentations cycle by with little pause or posturing. Post-performance production comes into play through some judicious overdubbing on both Marsh and Hughart’s parts, which yields several stimulating examples of Warne jousting with himself. Not easy to find, this set is still well worth seeking out.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic stuff. Of course I'm biased. He was my father. I'm currently doing a documentary on his music and our relationship (or rather my discovery of the man behind the music through the documentary). It's called Warne Marsh: An Improvised Life. Check us out on Facebook at:

    Website is in the works. Hope to reach out to fans of my dad's and keep in touch as I try to get this labor of love project in the can.

    Love to hear from fans etc. Looking for people to share stories and experiences with the man and/or the music.

    Thanks for the article.

    NOTE: Painting in my profile pic is by Charles Coffman