steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Jack Wright & Bob Marsh

"Birds in the Hand" CD

Public Eyesore

Genres: free jazz, improv

Bryan Day / PE
3803 S 25th St.
Omaha, NE 68107

Oct 27 - Nov 2 2003

Scene veterans Jack Wright and Bob Marsh are two of the most respected improv / free jazz players in the world, and their recent collaboration, Birds in the Hand, gives you a good understanding of why that is.  Sparse, with lots of blank silence, the album is devised to allow even the most short and simple instrumental blurts sound powerful and effective.  Wright's playing is in the forefront as he tackles sax and clarinet duties, while Marsh's violin, cello, and "processed voice" merely serves as something like a back-up band.  Even so, there's no doubting that he plays an integral role on Birds in the Hand; second track "Plight of the Mocking Birds," recorded live at the Sfalt Festival in Oakland California, nicely exemplifies Marsh's talent.  The longest piece, "When Pigs Fly," features a very daring performance by Jack Wright on the clarinet and is worth a listen.

Overall, this album is an enjoyable yet inessential release from Wright and Marsh.  Only for serious free jazz aficionados.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]