Marc McDonald: It Doesn't End Here


It Doesn't End Here


Marc McDonald (alto sax)


It Doesn't End Here (No End In Sight Records NEIS 1016)

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Marc McDonald (alto sax),

Jim Ridl (piano), Steve Cardenas (guitar), Karl Spicer (bass), Gene Lewin (drums)


Composed by Marc McDonald


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, 2008


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

When I receive a new CD for review, I usually listen to the entire disc to choose what I think would be the best representative cut to write about. I use my own criteria for this. More often than not I choose a tune that in some way sets itself apart from the others. This is the contrarian in me, though I do think this gives listeners a better idea of the scope of the music. Other times I just select the best performance. This album was an exception. I listened to the first tune only. It was clear to me that "It Doesn't End Here" deserved my immediate attention. It is a wonderful composition played beautifully. I didn't have to hear anything else to judge how good McDonald and his crew were.

After years in the business, saxophonist Marc McDonald now offers his debut album as a leader. His playing style is in the more powerful undertows of the mainstream, influenced a bit by outside cultures and a bop sensibility. For the title cut, McDonald wrote a simple melody. Sometimes simple is best. It is catchy from the start. Particularly effective is Steve Cardenas's guitar. His tone has a hint of Pat Metheny, though his lines are less esoteric. Saxophonist, guitarist and pianist take solo turns, each making the most of a melody that offers much. Even the best compositions need proper follow-through. When given riches you still need to know what to do with them lest they be squandered. This is music I would stay for the second set for. And the third… It is my guess it doesn't end here.

Reviewer's Note: I will listen to the rest of the album. I have already started in fact. It continues to be good.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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