Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Darol Anger & Mike Marshall : Woodshop

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

According to Darol Anger’s liner notes, he and longtime collaborator Mike Marshall had several aims when they joined some friends in the studio to record Woodshop. Topping the list: one, “To create highly structured orchestral works”; two, “Not to get too hung up on perfection but to communicate a vibe”; and three, “To showcase the glorious sound of our string instruments.”

They succeeded on all counts, but the album’s 14 performances sound a lot less calculated than the list above suggests. For all the intricately woven arrangements and the obvious attention paid to capturing crisp sonics, there’s an engaging spontaneity (and moments of sheer whimsy) that informs this session. Of course, you might expect as much from an album that opens with the delightful Marshall favorite “Peter Pan,” before paying tribute to Bach and, in passing, Eddie Harris via Anger’s “Bach, Up.” During “Replaceitall,” another Anger gem, the duo conjures a saw-toothed fiddle equivalent of the Rolling Stones’ rhythmic attack, then moves on to evoke the sound of a Turkish orchestra locked in buzzing unison on Marshall’s “The Creep.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.