Published on October 1st, 2017



Jazz is one of the most elusive genres of music ever. Should it be a maelstrom of emotional cacophony that is unleashed on the listener? Should it be smokey, sad and aloof? Should it be technically proficient with no soul? You had to know there was going to be a reference to Kenny G, the reigning prince of jazz. (I kid; unless you’re following sound scan sales)

Variation on a theme: that’s what jazz is all about. That’s how so many different sounding types of music can fall under the jazz moniker. Marbin is a jazz-rock band from Chicago that has been touring extensively since 2011 and has very nearly released an album a year ever since. To say that Marbin has been busy is a complete understatement; they’ve been sprinting from place to place, laying down the groove and improvising for audiences of thousands.

Marbin was founded in 2007 by saxophonist Danny Markovitch and guitarist Dani Rabin in Israel. They moved to Chicago to pursue the often self-defeating dream of being professional musicians. However, anything is possible with the right cocktail of talent and hustle and these fellas have a combustible recipe to succeed. Philosophers have mulled over the theory that hard work over talent will help anyone to succeed. Marbin appear to have both in copious amounts, which keeps them constantly busy on the jazz circuit or touring when not writing.

Jazz-rock fusion is a hard genre to get behind for some: too much rock kills the jazz vibe and too much jazz makes the rock light. Come on, no one likes light rock, man; that’s just bad form. Marbin being mostly fronted by the saxophone with the guitar accenting the horns leads seem to be right down the middle and thus, very accessible while true to the roots of the genus. Their sound has slight reference to their Israeli background, which ushers the listener into following the twisty, exotic sounds to a place that at once feels foreign, but is also very familiar and pleasing. They’re pretty damn great!

Ray’s Downtown & PureHoney present Marbin at Voltaire Sunday, October 8, 8pm. ~ Tim Moffatt

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