Clearly indebted to Ornette Coleman, Michael Marcus leads his trio (drummer Cody Moffett and bassist Chris Sullivan) through dangerous terrain, navigating the way with his stritch and bass clarinet. Sounding on stritch very much like a cross between an alto and a soprano saxophone, Marcus hits the ground hard as he propels with a solid forcefulness that is as exciting as it is invigorating. The piano-less, sax-led trio faces numerous hurdles, including the challenges of maintaining harmonic balance and listener interest for a full recording. Marcus manages to do it all so well that the piano isn't missed at all. For the most part eschewing cliché, the reedist runs through six tunes of his own plus Dolphy's "Serene" and Monk's "'Round Midnight." He toots a wicked bass clarinet on the latter that pays homage to its composer while leaving Marcus' stamp. (Steven Loewy)
1.- Blue Halo
3.- Message From Marcus
5.- Thematic Collisions
6.- 'Round Midnight
7.- Message From Marcus (solo)
8.- Blue Halo / Glittering Twilights
Michael Marcus (reeds); Chris Sullivan (bass); Codaryl Moffett (drums).
Recorded Live at The Knitting Factory, N.Y.C. on January 22 & 23, 1999.