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(54 min, Moonjune Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Blue Fingers 3:09 2. Inner Monologue 4:34 3. Breaking the Cycle 4:16 4. On the Square 4:24 5. Cafe du Nuit 2:32 6. Redline 5:21 7. Volta 4:17 8. The Ballad of David White 4:31 9. Down Goes the Way 2:02 10. The Way to Riches 3:21 11. And the Night Gave Nothing 2:48 12. Purple Fiddle 4:46 13. Last Days of August 5:01 14. Last Chapter of Dreaming 3:46 LINEUP: Dani Rabin – guitars Danny Markovitch – saxophone Justyn Lawrence – drums Jae Gentile – bass With: Matt Nelson – keyboards Victor Garcia – trumpet &: Five singers
Analysis. The booklet of this CD lists five persons as guest singers, but only four of the pieces here contain vocalizations (few in most cases), whereas the others are purely instrumental, which doesn’t really matter, though. Very much like in the case of its predecessor, the main criticism that can be leveled at “Last Chapter of Dreaming” is that the music here does not tend to vary much, and while the disc specifies fourteen different tracks, it’s not too easy to tell the difference between them – OK, some of them. The distinct dynamic and structural changes are only featured on five of the compositions, Blue Fingers, Redline, On the Square, Breaking the Cycle and Volta, all of which alternate hard rock-based and softer fusionesque arrangements, at times varying in pace as well. However, only the last three of them are (more or less) rich thematically and emotionally alike, occasionally revealing even deeply dramatic notes, whereas on the rest of the album the mood is either uplifted or overtly jovial – like most of Latin folk music for instance, and I must note that Latin rhythms are also used on the album, from time to time. The other nine pieces, Inner Monologue, The Way to Riches, The Ballad of David White, Purple Fiddle, Cafe du Nuit, Down Goes the Way, And the Night Gave Nothing, Purple Fiddle, Last Days of August and the title one, all could generally be categorized as pop-rock Fusion. The first three of them are performed up-tempo, and the other six are all slow, tranquil, danceable ballads, none of which have departures from their initial themes, the latter four tunes sounding really much the same, as they follow one another within the last fourth of the album. Well, the fast-paced pieces at times begin coalescing into jazz rock-like jams on the basis of a primal groove, but they either don’t evolve into something different in terms of theme, and, by the way, the first of them begins with a guitar solo-riff that has been borrowed from ‘80s King Crimson. Traditionally, guitars (both electric and acoustic versions) and saxophones are primary soloing instruments here too, though there are also some bright keyboard, trumpet and bass solos, the latter being much of the reason for the progressive feel of the group (meaning mainly on the first five of the described compositions), as only those never work in unison with others.
Conclusion. On the “Last Chapter of Dreaming” Marbin continues to simplify its style. I don’t know whether the band is going to invent pop Fusion, but each of their subsequent releases turns out to be less complicated than its predecessor. Of course, most of the tracks on this album are melodically beautiful, but they are too plain in terms of composition to view them otherwise as background music.
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