Marcus/Moritz Quartet is a really pleasant surprise. Moritz and Marcus play quartet music with elegance and attitude, form and freedom. It's a bit tough to describe the feel these guys wring from their tasteful compositions and extensions - combine one part sleepy Paul Motion trio, one part prime Scofield/Lovano quartet, and something of the gritty swagger of Mark Ribot's groups and you might have the picture. As players these fellows are fairly individual, despite the above referencing. Marcus plays with understatement - using chordal daubing and vibrato for drama, and able to invest a melody with considerable emotional weight. Moritz is a more emotionally remote player, to my ears at least, though that's no knock. He reels off very advanced post-bop sax lines, sauntering above the pulse or digging in firmly. Drummer Ferber has a pointillistic approach that reminds of Billy Mintz, while bassist Lutz is quite earthy and loves to bounce out a fat groove. It helps, too, that the co-leaders pen above average tunes to work with, avoiding aimless blowing for the most part and focusing on interaction and development. Many of these pieces feature interesting forms... CADENCE MAGAZINE - July 2001.
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