Warne Marsh

Warne Marsh and Susan Chen

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During the last few years of his life, tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh often teamed up with pianist Susan Chen, who was one of his students. This duet album has 13 generally brief sketches (three of which are under two minutes long) that are allegedly "originals," plus "Skylark." Certainly such songs as "This Thing," "Pennies," "Marvelous Words," "Another You" and "Have You Met" are rather thin disguises for their original sources and chord changes. Despite that odd habit (which was initiated by Lennie Tristano), the music is generally quite rewarding. Warne Marsh was in prime form during the last years of his life, and Susan Chen (who had studied with Tristano for four months) was starting to develop her own style; where has she been since Marsh's 1987 death? This somewhat obscure LP is worth searching for.