Riddle Of The Sphinx - Mark Gross $15
The debut J Curve disc by alto saxophonist/composer Mark Gross, "Riddle of the Sphinx", will prove to be no enigma to the jazz listener: it is a rich, thematically unified and thought provoking musical journey into Egypt by this gifted musician. When one thinks of "Egyptian" in jazz, one may think of "Pharaoh" or "Ra", or of McCoy Tyner's "Message From The Nile" or "Sahara". Following this same exotic path, this suite of performances integrates Gross's Egyptian-themed compositions with those of Wayne Shorter (Black Nile), Billy Strayhorn (Isfahan), Kenny Garrett (Lullaby of Isfahan) and Mulgrew Miller (Eastern Joy Dance). Mark Gross is a potent musical voice with much to say and he and his colleagues have created a memorable opus that you won't want to miss.
"As record concepts go, 'Riddle of the Sphinx' is one of the most clever to come down the pike…Mark Gross is a saxman deserving wider attention who is blessed with a rich, pure tone…Clearly one of the orders of the day for jazz album projects is the conceptual approach….he has successfully plotted and delivered this course, arriving at a package that is fresh, original, and served up by a cohesive band of fine players. Could we ask for anything more?"
Willard Jenkins -regular contributor to Jazz Times, Downbeat, and Jazz Report Magazine
"Gross is a new and powerful alto sax player who was chosen for the new Nat Adderly Quintet after Antonio Hart, which means he is a Cannonball type player. As you may presume … funky is his flavor. He…shows his modern modality which is reflected in his sound."
Takao Ogawa -Swing Journal, Japan
Make: CDs J Curve Records