Marcus Shelby

Un Faux Pas!

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Marcus Shelby, best known thus far for his playing with Black Note, is a superior modern mainstream bassist. For Un Faux Pas! he wrote a complete story that could have served as a film noir movie of the late '40s, and composed 11 songs to fit the events. Actually, the music easily stands apart from the narrative, featuring Shelby in a trio with pianist Matt Clark and drummer Jaz Sawyer. Since the tale involves an American man and a French woman, the song titles are in both French and English. "Mixed Women" (one of several ballads) is probably the most memorable selection, but Shelby wrote some other catchy themes too; the set, on a whole, while remaining consistently bop-based, always holds on to one's interest due to the many moods and tempos explored. Pianist Clark is the main voice throughout, with Shelby and drummer Sawyer faring quite well in supportive roles. It would not be surprising if a few of the numbers were eventually covered by other musicians fortunate enough to have this CD, which is well worth searching for.

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