Jun 22 2018
Considering how much I despise the original, it’s sort of remarkable what a sucker I am for renditions of the Game of Thrones theme. The Lenny Marcus Trio is the latest example of jazz musicians turning that piece of coal into a sonic gem. And it’s not like the trio does much with it. A simple recitation of the melody sits at the center where wistful blues flourishes and harmonic expansions set the whole thing humming happily along.
But this album is more than just that tune. However, most of Gloria’s Step builds upon that same approach taken to the HBO show’s theme. Clear, crisp recitations of a succinct melody become the jump off point for tangents, textures, and deviations that add all kinds of personality to the opening statements. The tunes never traverse great distances from their starting point, instead choosing to explore a small patch of turf for everything its got.
Bonus points for a rendition of McCoy Tyner’s “Contemplation,” a song that really isn’t covered nearly enough and from an album that is one of the greatest hard bop recordings ever. A few guests add some depth and colors to the mix. Brian Mesko‘s guitar accompaniment on “Welcoming” is especially nice.
Marcus and crew develop a real pleasant and engaging conversational tone. It makes for an easy-to-like recording.
Your album personnel: Lenny Marcus (acoustic grand piano, flute), Rick Eckberg (double bass, fretless electric bass), Larry Scott (drums) and guests: Vladimir Espinosa (percussion), Brian Mesko (guitars), Ken Hitchcock (flutes; saxophone).
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Roanoke, Virginia.
Available at: Bandcamp