Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got To Change (CF 150)
Multi-reedman Marty Ehrlich steers his estimable band-mates through a progressive-jazz jamboree that offers a prismatic stance. The leader has performed and recorded with the respective artists over the years in various ensembles. This outing, however, sustains a prominent groove quotient amid a few slight chamber inferences. Therefore, the quartet projects a distinct personality as improvisation and composition tender a prolific balancing act.
Ehrlich and trumpeter James Zollar project vocal-like attributes amid swing, airy bop and bluesy passages, while also instilling solstice and blistering choruses in spots. With “On The One,” the quartet locks into a circular pattern, nicely counterbalanced by Erik Friedlander’s bowed-cello lines. Moreover, the band segues into an orbital sequence of events that translates into the sounds of praise. Then on “Slices Of Light,” they gel during a swaggering shuffle vibe, where the hornists’ punch out a peppery motif.
They finalize the program with a composition by the late and influential saxophonist, composer Julius Hemphill titled, “Dogon A.D.” On this piece, the quartet executes an eleven beat rhythmic pattern, firmed-up by drummer Pheeroan Aklaff’s hard-hitting backbeats and the frontline’s rocketing horns. Overall, Ehrlich presents an album, teeming with intersecting theme-building exercises that reside on a vast plane, and countered with dips and spikes along the way. Nothing gets too out of hand or off course on this shrewdly arranged studio date.