Frog Leg Logic
Marty Ehrlich’s Rites Quartet
Hank Roberts (cel), James Zollar (t), Marty Ehrlich (as), Michael Sarin (d),
Also Available on iTunes
Julius Hemphill really has a noble heir in Marty Ehrlich, and the fact that this multi-reed player includes a cellist in his quartet makes us remember Hemphill’s association with the great Abdul Wadud. Ehrlich’s first recording of his Rites Quartet for Clean Feed, “Things Have Got To Change”, contrasted his compositions, both rhythmic and reflective, with never- before recorded pieces by Hemphill. Ehrlich’s new recording with his Rites Quartet, “Frog Leg Logic”, presents a broad canvas of original compositions that further define his concept for this ensemble. The stylistic range of this new CD goes deep in its approach to the post-bop tradition and the Blues, bringing out the exquisite lyricism in Ehrlich’s writing, the timbral associations of the instruments and the improvisational, free-form flights of the soloists. Once more,Marty Ehrlich has in trumpeter James Zollar a contrasting force, and it’s a wonder to hear both in conversation. They push each other further down the road, keeping things alive and moving. Ehrlich reunites with his long-time colleague Hank Roberts on cello, who sounds at times like a third horn, a guitar, a kora, and a voice far off in the wilderness. Roberts combines with drummer Michael Sarin to make a compelling stew of rhythmic energy. “Frog Leg Logic” takes on a sound and direction that is old and new at once. Take the leap and listen.