Christian Marsh - The Sketch On this, his second solo album, Christian Marsh again demonstrates not only why he is the top professional live and session harmonica player in Australia, but also that his abilities as a player are world class. 'The Sketch' reflects his primary orientation as that of a jazz chromatic player with varying tastes, without forgetting his roots (and still often used talents) as a blues/rock diatonic player and his foray into world music. Christian could have walked the safe path and chosen some typical jazz standards for this album. Instead his desire to express his true musical leanings inspired him to draw on the talents of artist/composers such as Tom Scott ('Tom Cat', 'Shadows'), D.C. Santana ('Holiday'), Peter Gabriel ('Digging In The Dirt'), Sting ('Be Still My Beating Heart') and Argentinian accordionist Astor Piazzola ('Tanti Annie Prima'). The combination of the choice of numbers and Christian's laid-back, melodic and funky style has resulted in local music critics describing 'The Sketch' as 'sophisticated smooth jazz come adult contemporary instrumental music'. Among the talented backing musicians is the internationally renowned,Frank Zappa drummer, Chad Wackerman whose phenomenal skills are responsible for the rock and latin grooves that pervade the album. Born and bred in Australia, Christian's restricted exposure to other harmonica players forced him to find his own voice on the instrument . Although familiar with recordings by Magic Dick, Paul Butterfield, and Charlie McCoy in his early days, his biggest influences have been the professional musicians that he has worked with for many years and his jazz studies. As a result you hear on this album Christian's unique tone and approach to the music, avoiding cliched jazz harmonica runs and taking a more horn-like approach in his expression. This guy is definitely no Toots 'wannabe'! - PF.
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