David Berger

Marlowe

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The music on arranger David Berger's Marlowe is really divided into two suites. The first five selections, called "Windows on the World," deal with 9/11 while the other 12 selections, divided into two parts, are titled "Marlowe." Berger's writing is strongly influenced by Duke Ellington and several of the musicians play in similar styles here as Duke's men, with Jerry Dodgion emulating Johnny Hodges, the tones of Paul Gonsalves and Clark Terry being copied effectively, and the writing for the brass section certainly sounding like Ellington and Strayhorn had something to do with it. Aria Hendricks takes a guest vocal on "Heroes." Although no film accompanies the CD, this comes across as dramatic and episodic soundtrack music. Are these major pieces of work as liner notes writer Dan Morgenstern states? Due to the derivative nature of much of the music, the results are not that much more original than much of Wynton Marsalis' writing. However, the performances are excellent and listeners who enjoy Duke Ellington's score for Anatomy of a Murder will find this set to be in a similar colorful vein.

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