VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases
08 APR 08 JONATHAN WIDRAN
A few months back, when this blog covered Eric Marienthal's latest Peak Records recording Just Around the Corner, the jottings began with a mention of the saxophonist's insanely busy and diverse contemporary, fusion and straight ahead jazz itineraries. His sideman schedule was just as varied and frenetic when he released his second Peak release Sweet Talk in 2003.
Over the previous two years, he had performed as a special guest with his labelmates The Rippingtons. Between Ripps dates, he also did a European jaunt with Chick Corea's then recently reunited Elektric Band -- which Marienthal originally played with from 1987 - 1995. He added extra frequent flier miles by venturing out of the confines of the Southern California studio scene and recording most of Sweet Talk in New York City.
While the collection features collaborations with West Coast musical friends like Jeff Lorber and fellow Rippington Dave Kochanski, producer Jason Miles hooked up Marienthal with Big Apple jazz cats who had long been at the top of the saxman's fantasy band list, including guitarist Chuck Loeb, bassist Will Lee, guitarist Dean Brown and drummers Chris Parker and Gene Lake (from David Sanborn's band).
Sweet Talk features a previously unrecorded composition by legendary Brazilian singer/songwriter Ivan Lins, "Caprichosa," with Lins himself on vocals that were recorded in Rio De Janeiro. Another key vocal contribution came from onetime Peak artist Cassandra Reed, who added a rich, soulful spark to a sizzling funk jam version of the Stevie Wonder-penned Rufus classic "Tell Me Something Good."