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Album Review

Saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Chuck Loeb team up for the relaxing, stylistically expansive 2015 effort Bridges. The album follows up the duo's previous collaboration, 2012's It's Love, which featured production from Loeb and showcased their synergistic musical creativity throughout. This time out, they share production duties on nine original compositions and one cover, an expressive Latin jazz reading of pianist Keith Jarrett's "Lucky Southern." Here, they are joined by esteemed bassist John Patitucci as well as drummer Byron Landham and percussionist David Charles. While Bridges certainly fits nicely into the smooth jazz genre, there's something deeply thoughtful, organic, and probing about the music Marienthal and Loeb make together. These are languid, textural productions that cross the boundaries between groove-oriented jazz, atmospheric new age, and exuberant electric fusion. Cuts like the evocative leadoff "Westward" and the dreamy, introspective "Crossing" set the album's mood, with Loeb's delicately arpeggiated guitar riffs complemented by Marienthal's supple saxophone melodies. While the full group tracks are superb, the inventive duo tracks impress the most. On the flamenco-infused "Puentes," Marienthal creatively employs his saxophone keys as a percussion instrument, weaving the airy, woody rhythm into Loeb's own percussive acoustic guitar motif. Marienthal then overdubs a second lead melody line against that harmonic bed, and it all works so beautifully that you'd never guess it wasn't all played live. Elsewhere, they dive headlong into the swinging '60s jazz-funk of "Last Minute Blues," dance their way through the aforementioned "Lucky Southern," and take a meditative drive toward the horizon on the John Coltrane-influenced "Sun Rays."

Customer Reviews

Problems with the download

All tracks has a weird static noise for a couple seconds at the beginning of each track

SmoothJazz.com Review

With BRIDGES, the textured, global-minded collaboration by saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Chuck Loeb, two of contemporary jazz’s most versatile and innovative Grammy winning forces collaborate for the first time. Collectively, the two have played with Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Stan Getz and B.B. King – and their penchant for warm and intimate melodies, rich improvisations and deep grooves reflects all of these iconic influences. Inspired by classic jazz fusion duo albums, the two bring their blend of sensual & soulful and intense jazz fusion energies to colorful ventures into Latin jazz, Brazilian samba, fast simmering blues and expansive improvisations. These are two masters at work, exploring fresh territory and building BRIDGES with a symbiotic sound and vision. ~ Jonathan Widran

Fantastic Collaboration

This album will be another outstanding work from Eric Marienthal. I have known Eric for years and I had a chance to work with him years ago. Do yourself a favor and buy this record. These two guys won't let you down.

Biography

Born: December 13, 1957 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Eric Marienthal shows listeners that he plays crossover jazz as well being a capable and creative improviser. Marienthal attended the Berklee College of Music for two years, and earned a Berklee Distinguished Alumnus Award for outstanding achievements in contemporary music. Following his departure from Berklee, he went on tour for seven months and played live in New Orleans for just under five years as a member of Al Hirt's band. Marienthal moved to Los Angeles in 1980 after his tenure with Hirt,...
Full Bio
Bridges, Eric Marienthal
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