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The Poet

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iTunes Review

Dark-toned trumpet and flugelhorn player Marquis Hill hails from Chicago's south side and has been lighting up the Windy City scene in recent years. Here, on his third album, the 26-year-old leader plays a modern, technically demanding, and stylistically straight-ahead jazz espoused by Wynton Marsalis and others. Backed by his working sextet, Hill and saxophonist Christopher McBride take a majority of the solos—nicely complementing each other on “B-Tune,” “Vella,” and on the Bill Lee song “Again Never.” Hand percussionist Juan Pastor joins the band for three numbers, bringing a Latin edge and earthy sense of energy to tunes like “The Color of Fear.” Interestingly, there are several shorter tunes with fades, revealing an artist who likes his music to cut to the heart of the matter and get out. Or he simply likes to share a vibe, as he does in a series of interludes. True to the title, the opening and closing pieces feature bits of poetry, which are as tasteful as the rest of this.

Customer Reviews


Marquis some nice jams!

A serene, yet energetic project!

The theme of the album is centered more around the melodic dissertations of the Thelonius Monk Competition winner, and not so much on 'poety' itself. Although the opening and closing tracks feature some spoken work layered on top of the underscoring provided by Hill and the gang, the bulk of the album focuses on his dimensional compositional style that is very mellow, and never too rough. Even an up-tempo burner like "Return Of The Student" situates nicely within the frame of the mid-tempo/ballads that seem to reoccur throughout the project. The only dividing factor is the poetry, dispite the album being titled as such; it doesn't seem to fit as well as one would expect in relationship to the middle of the album. There are no poetry interludes to further the theme of the album, but the quality of the performances and the compositions are well-worth the purchase! "Giovanna", "B-Tune", and "Vella" are some of the stand out tunes to keep an ear for!

William Kurk
- Musicianarian


Born: 1987 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Marquis Hill is a highly skilled jazz musician with a bent toward soulful post-bop. A native of Chicago, Hill earned his B.A. in music education and jazz studies from Northern Illinois University in 2009. Three years later, he received his Master's degree in jazz pedagogy from DePaul University. A highly lauded performer, Hill won first place in both the 2012 International Trumpet Guild's Jazz Improvisation Competition and the 2013 Carmine Caruso...
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The Poet, Marquis Hill
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