Press and Official Photos
The MMQ’s latest album, “Countdown To Meltdown” (as well as the group’s other two projects is now available as a download directly from
Mitch Marcus’ website in FULL FIDELITY and NO DRM.
Also available at iTunes as a download as well as a CD at CD Baby and PortoFrancoRecords and Amazon. There are more links on the discography page…
CD and Performance Reviews
Molly Tigre article/interview from 12/6/16 Ditmas Park Corner see article here
SF Civic Center: February 15, 2013 by Michael Strickland
A new performing space at the SFJAZZ Center called the Joe Henderson Lab was christened last night by the young saxophone player Mitch Marcus above playing the entire legendary 1965 Blue Note recording, Inner Urge, by Joe Henderson.
what to do TODAY East Bay Express February 13, 2013 what to do today, BLURB
Gapplegate: October 21, 2011 by Grego Applegate Edwards
New Yorker Mitch Marcus and his quintet show us some of that in the riotcap avant romp Countdown 2 Meltdown (Porto Franco 009). It’s notable for the presence of the very nimble electric guitarist Mike Abraham, the two-reed threat of Mitch (tenor) and Sylvian Carton (alto), and the very lively rhythm section of George Ban-Weiss on acoustic bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums
All About Jazz: May 11, 2010 by Terrell Kent Holmes
Although its music is grounded in blues, bop and other time-honored constructs, the Mitch Marcus Quintet is not your usual jazz band. In fact, the MMQ’s adventurous tunes, use of unusual meters and delightfully manic arrangements travel far beyond conventional musical borders. The band’s Countdown 2 Meltdown is a sonic riot bursting with invention and mischief.
Jazz Inside Magazine: May, 2010 Interview by Gary Heimbauer
JI: Mitch, I love the descriptors you use on your myspace page to describe the music of your Quintet – post-apocalyptic jazz to scintillating trance hypno- tism. Can you further expound on the unique sound that your band delivers?
MM: The music is a combination of hard-bop, through-composed, rock, straight ahead, odd meter groove, klezmer, and even free-form at times. All of this, and the diversity of the band’s influences, be- comes the above description!
All About Jazz: April 18, 2010 by Glen Astarita
With his third quintet release, saxophonist Mitch Marcus and his exciting quintet continue to dish out bold and serious-minded progressive jazz amid a mark of distinction compared to many others of this ilk. After consummating a highly-praised ten-year residency in San Francisco, Marcus returned to his native New York City in 2009. Here, the quintet pulls out the proverbial stops, blasting into the cosmos via blazing improvisational etudes with a precision-oriented, group-centric focus.
Jazz Times: April 3, 2010 by Brenton Plourde
Tenor saxophonist Mitch Marcus, made the move from San Francisco to New York to release the quintet’s new CD called Countdown 2 Meltdown.
East Bay Express: March 10, 2010 by Rachel Swan
OAKLAND JAZZ MUSIC EXAMINER: August 18
by Brian McCoy, staff writer
Question: Suffice it to say, the quintet’s approach to jazz pulls from any number of influences and crosses just as many boundaries. Rather than ask the straightforward question about influences, let me do it this way: What is the composing process like for the band? Does it begin with melody or a riff? How do pieces evolve during the rehearsal process?
Marcus: It’s different every time. Usually, we all will bring in different sketches at varying degrees of being finished and then add (or take away) parts of the existing arrangements depending on what works at rehearsal. I usually write at the piano and then at some point switch to saxophone or vice-versa. I try to not have too many expectations going into the composing process and therefore end up with something quite different every time.
see the rest of the article at examiner.com
CONTRA COSTA TIMES : MAY 29, 2008
by JIM HARRINGTON, staff writer
The Berkeley-based jazz saxophonist, who is also handy on the keyboards, performs in more ensembles than there are nights of the week. What’s really amazing, however, is the wide range of styles represented in those bands.
METROSPIRIT.COM : MARCH 25, 2008
by RICH MCCRACKEN IIr
A potpourri of soundscapes produced by musicians that want to take jazz music to a higher level of consciousness. Unique listening for jazz and rock fans.
Folkworld: February 2008
by Eelco Schilder
Between all the jazz CD’s I have to review for this issue of Folkworld, this is by far the most adventures and the best one. I don’t know what the real jazz experts will say, but this is such a CD that makes jazz interesting for me.
East Bay Express: May 27, 2009 by Rachel Swan
WILSON AND ALROY’S RECORD REVIEWS : 2008
…. Through all the abrupt mood changes, bassist George Ban-Weiss keeps cooking, the solos are on point, and the weirdness somehow sounds perfectly appropriate (“G.C.”). Though Abraham’s playing is often wild, it’s under control, while Marcus himself is usually heard best during the record’s softer moments (“Dave’s Castle”). Produced by Stephen Barncard.
GLIDETRACK.COM – Hidden Track- Listen To This Shit: February 6 2008
by Ace Cowboy
The MMQ’s pioneered a unique sound here, creating something fresh and exhilarating, borrowing parts and scrap from the legends heap that many jazz lovers unconsciously enjoy and cobbling together a new direction. It’s familiar and foreign, but all that doesn’t matter — it’s about the music, and this album’s better than blind adjectives in any derivative review.
SF WEEKLY : November 14,2007
by Eza Gale
The Special, the new release from local heroes the Mitch Marcus Quintet, is an interesting case study in the future of the jazz music business. It’s a searing document of progressive jazz that is exactly what major labels like Blue Note and Verve should be releasing instead of looking for the next Norah Jones.
Chico News and Review: September 30,2010 by Miles Jordan
That the Bay Area jazz scene is still cooking with new players is very much in evidence on Countdown 2 Meltdown. Until a move last year back to New York, tenor saxophonist Mitch Marcus worked with his combo in and around San Francisco for 10 years and has recorded three CDs. While the group’s focus is on post-bop/progressive jazz, it also edges into rock territory thanks to guitarist Mike Abraham…
EJAZZ NEWS : August 17, 2007
by Geannine Reid
Overall, this release is one of those surprises you see every once in a while, but wait for with every opening of a new CD, the title of this collection of powerful works is duly named. The unit enjoys residing in the fast lane but with the understanding that they exhibit controlled burn and significant compositional ability. The Special is worth the purchase and the addition to any jazz aficionado’s collection.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ : July 16, 2007
by Glenn Astarita
This quintet gets out of the gate with a ballsy no-nonsense mode of operations. San Francisco Bay Area saxophonist Mitch Marcus helps steer the way for his ensemble’s progressive-jazz/fuzoid attack with the agility and timeliness of a rapid-response unit. Not for the squeamish, the preponderance of these works consist of snaky dual-sax choruses and blitzing guitar unison runs atop pulsating rhythms. Electric guitarist Michael Abraham adds a significant edge here via his rangy, distortion-drenched licks as the band uses space to its advantage.
MIDWEST RECORD REVIEWS : July 3, 2007
by Glenn Astarita
MITCH MARCUS QUINTET/The Special: Recently voted San Francisco’s best jazz group, this sax led crew blows their jazz the old fashioned way, that is if you have skeletons in your closets that range from Monk to Zappa. Not revivalists, they play with an open ear cocked to the future but invite you on the journey as opposed to daring you to make it. Delightfully hardhitting date that shows the future of jazz is in good hands, this post bop, hard driving set is sure to open ears from coast to coast to what is brewing by the Bay. Hot
SFBG: Noise : March 21st, 2007
No self-indulgence for SF’s Mitch Marcus Quintet
by Kimberly Chun
With saxophonists Mitch Marcus and Sylvain Carton up front flying in tight formation through some impressive mid-air turns, it’s the quintet’s simmering rhythm section that’s responsible for continuously building, tearing down, and rebuilding The Special’s beat-driven foundations.
Dagens Skiva – dagensskiva.com : SEPT 10, 2007
by Patrik Hamberg
The Special (Mitch Marcus Quintet/Jazzcubed.com)
Fyllig jazz med en harvig och trasig elgitarr som oväntad bonus. Smutsiga saxofoner och ett härligt mustigt driv. Jag gillar. Borde ha fått en recension så klart.
(Translation from Swedish by Peter Holmnstedt:) Rich jazz with a plowing and ragged electric guitar as an unexpected bonus. Dirty saxophones and a groovy juicy drive. I love it. Should have gotten a real review, of course!
San Francisco Chronicle : August 28, 2005
by Daniel King
Mitch Marcus Quintet One of the Bay Area’s most riotously swinging young jazz groups, the quartet serves up post-bop with an array of jagged rhythms. But just when the sound becomes reckless, they connect the dots brilliantly. Marcus, 30, is a Berkeley saxophonist with tons of national support, and he fronts several ensembles with nuance.
San Francisco Chronicle : June 28, 2005
by Daniel King
Headliners and amateurs alike swing through Amnesia for unforgettable jam sessions
…. Onstage, as on record, his commanding touch and his startling use of the various sounds of bebop — wobbly, sweltering, explosive — are unmistakable.
SFWeekly.com: May 28, 2003
by Sam Prestianni
Despite its ubiquitous use of all kinds of improv strategies, which carry the hope of fire and surprise, jazz is a dogmatic genre with its own brand of partisan restrictions. Mainstream players are expected to stick conservatively with the conventions in order to appease average listeners with a sense of familiarity, while avant-gardists are charged with pushing the music forward at all costs, even if this means alienating audiences or at times sacrificing listenability for high concept. In progressive circles innovation is the order of the day, which is essential for taking the music to new heights, but this mandate also tends to limit creative exploration within the tried-and-true forms — the bedrock of the jazz art.