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April 1999

Marc Cary
The Antidote
Arabesque Recordings

The Antidote is an apt title since throughout his brief recording career young Marc Cary has been an antidote for all those who would dismiss his generation as not saying anything fresh. Cary has infused his music with knotty rhythms, and he insists on largely his own original tunes. In this case Cary has dropped the trap drums from the ensemble and engaged a second percussionist to work alongside his go-go rhythms—hand drummer Yarbrough Charles Laws. Ron Blake is on saxophones, John Ormond on bass, and multi-percussionist Daniel Moreno rounds out the cast, one with whom Cary has a trust and sense of communication that serves this music well.

While not exactly a crystalline recording job, musically The Antidote is another edgy affair from Cary, though in this instance he does temper things a bit. Such is the case when he puts his growing pianism in maximum exposure mode, as with his delicious unaccompanied take on Ellington's "Melancholia," and his duet with Blake on "Dedicated to You." Impressionism reigns vividly in Cary's compositions, including the sifting desert sands of "The Sage," and the insistent plucked piano strings of "Three Wise Men." The go-go rhythms are more submerged than on his last. Marc Cary remains free of conventions that restrict many of his peers.

Originally published in April 1999
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