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

Marshall Gilkes: Sound Stories

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.

A formidable improviser, trombonist Marshall Gilkes flexes his composer-arranger muscle on this refined quintet date with saxophonist Donny McCaslin, pianist Adam Birnbaum, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Eric Doob. Three extended two-part suites represent Gilkes’ finest material here. The frantically swinging “Presence: Part 1” has McCaslin soloing with abandon on tenor, while “Part 2” finds Gilkes improvising in more subdued fashion. “Anxiety: Part 1” is a relaxed heartland ode that features some engaging counterpoint between the horns along with potent solos from each player. “Part 2,” the 10-minute centerpiece of the disc, develops that same contrapuntal motif through an accelerated tempo before Gilkes pairs off with Nakamura for a dramatic and highly expressive duet that leads to a spirited trombone solo backed by the full band. Equally impressive is the stirring two-part “Armstrong,” featuring brilliant horn harmonies and a torrid tenor solo from McCaslin. Gilkes reserves his most lyrical playing for the poignant ballad “Bare.”

Originally Published