Eric Marienthal and Marilyn Monroe

Picture9Eric Marienthal primarily known as an altoist Sax, but many of his own projects suffer from over-production and lack of commercial material. He came to fame with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and tends to sound at his best when teamed with that caliber. So I have to admit that firstly bought Crossroads album was based on impression of the players names on it, rather than being an Eric fan. With the presence of Big Leagues musicians such as Chick Corea, Russell Ferrante, Dave Weckl, Jon Patitucci, Vinnie Colaiuta and Alex Acuna, all more than enough to know it’s going to be worth hearing. What a line up he has: Weckl is stunning as usual, it’s beginning to sound like a drummer’s album rather than a sax player’s solo album. Maybe that’s just how I hear it. Patitucci plays bass throughout with Ferrante on keyboards and Chick Corea on piano, it couldn’t fail to be a winner. Interestingly, the main writing credits go to Patitucci and Ferrante, with Marienthal a co-writer on two of the tunes.

Personally I think this album is better than any of the Chick Corea Electric Band efforts as well. This is class “A” Fusion. More balanced and listenable, plus it’s enduring. It sounds as fresh now as it did 25 years ago while Chicks Electric stuff sounds dated. I would say what you would expect from a fusion band of that time – a few stand-out tunes, but in the main, it only hits the spot on a couple of occasions. Spoons is one of my favorite songs of all time. I never get sick of listening to it, Eric’s best career work by far. For those who maybe alergic to Jazz, the presence of Marilyn Monre as my personal tribute could help. (nDy)

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