Sat, Feb 04|
The Marrow (Gordon Grdina, Hank Roberts, Mark Helias, Hamin Honari) with Aidia + David Y
Juno award winning Oud/Guitarist with a unique sound combining mainstream jazz, free/improv and Arabic music. Opening performance by Aidia + David Y
Time & Location
Feb 04, 2023, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Portland, 650 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
About The Event
"Over 15 years of studies into the instrument and its extensive repertoire have enabled Grdina to put his oud playing front and centre in world music projects such as the large ensemble Haram, Sangha and Qalandar as well as into jazzier realms with his trio and now with The Marrow. This new project combines Middle Eastern music with avant-garde jazz and dropped its debut album Ejdeha June 22 on Songlines.
Here are [four] things to know about the album:
1. International names: Featuring New York aces Mark Helias (bass) and cellist Hank Roberts, The Marrow began as a trio put together for an annual oud summit in New York. But the band became a quartet after Vancouver-based Persian percussionist Hamin Honari was brought into the band. It’s hard to imagine what compositions such as the album opener Telesm would sound like without Honari’s reverberating frame drum. A member of a celebrated musical family, Hamin has played with Grdina for over a decade in multiple different projects.
2. Hank Roberts: First seen here as a member of guitarist Bill Frisell’s fantastic quartet, this cellist coaxes so much variation out of his instrument on this album that you could be forgiven for thinking there was a viola player or violinist in on the session as well as more than one bass. Where Helias is a pulsing timekeeper with an impeccable resume, having played with everyone from composer Anthony Braxton to Regina Carter and so many more, Roberts is more of a textural player, bringing in elements of modern classical, folk and even outside rock to his playing.
3. Dense rhythmic structures: Just check out the layers of dense rhythmic counterpoint in Idiolect to appreciate how groovy this group is. The amount of ebb and flow between the players and how they trade off lead roles while never sacrificing any of the sinuous beat is impressive. It’s hard to believe that this is a new unit because they play like they’ve been doing this together for ages. Grdina is on record stating that the communication among the original three was so instant and rewarding that it was a no-brainer to pursue the group. Honari was a pretty easy fit, as he is steeped in the tradition.
4. It’s hypnotic: The oud, at least the way Grdina plays it, becomes a driving force in all of the album tracks. But where his guitar playing can often be characterized by frantic and furious shards of noise, he never goes past the point of control playing oud. Every note rings so clear and fluid that it’s positively hypnotic. Even though this is most certainly an outside-the-norms jazz album it will certainly appeal to a very wide range of listeners because of this clarity in execution."
Entry Ticket$20.00Tax: +$1.10 Sales Tax+$0.53 service fee