Mike Marshall: Sweets Mill
Mike Marshall (mandolin, mandocello, guitar)
Mike Marshall's Big Trio (Adventure Music AMA1051 02)
Mike Marshall (mandolin, mandocello, guitar),
Alex Hargreaves (violin), Paul Kowert (bass).
Composed by Mike Marshall.
Recorded: Albany, CA, August 2008
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
When describing his trio, Mike Marshall goes so far as to call Alex Hargreaves and Paul Kowert "old souls." The cynical among us might be tempted to sneer at this cliché, but at ages 16 and 21, the music they're capable of creating shows an astonishing amount of reach. Combining elements of jazz, classical, and New Grass, "Sweets Mill" manages to span the gap between the modern and the old-timey. While Marshall sets up the harmonic bed with a long series of arpeggios, Kowert's bass comes in underneath. Hargreaves soon follows with the violin. The roles played by the young string duo shift as the composition continues, with the violin switching to pizzicato, while the bass provides some swing in the non-bowed mode. This is where the tune makes subtle transformations between New Grass and jazz. Moods change as well, from deliberate and pensive to up-tempo and cheerful. Old souls? Yes, Mr. Marshall got that exactly right.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski