Ben Markley Quartet Featuring Joel Frahm Drops “Slow Play” Sept.16


Scott H. Thompson

Ben Markley Quartet featuring Joel Frahm
Slow Play - Release Date September 16th
Label: OA2 Records

Slow Play is a compilation of music I wrote with the band of Joel Frahm, Jim White, and Marty Kenney in mind. I've had a chance to work with Jim and Marty over the last 10 years in various settings and it's always been a blast. I met Joel a little over two years ago and asked him to do a couple hits with my big band as well as some small group playing. I've long admired his playing and to have the opportunity to play together was inspiring to say the least! Shortly after Joel and I worked together in February of 2018, I began working on a small group project that brought Jim, Joel, and Marty together.

I thought this combination of folks, with the addition of Andy Wheelock on congas for a couple tunes, could really make my music come to life. And they didn't disappoint! This band played gigs in Wyoming and Colorado for the week leading up to the recording. While the music was written for this project and these musicians, it also reflects some of my influences - specifically, Cedar Walton and Chick Corea. This group of tunes sum up what jazz means to me - rhythm and groove combined with a strong melody. From the moment we started this tour, there was joy in every note. I'm pleased to share the results.
- Ben Markley

The Band:
Ben Markley - Piano
Joel Frahm - Tenor Saxophone & Soprano Sax (6)
Marty Kenney - Bass
Jim White - Drums
Andy Wheelock - Congas (2,8)

All Compositions by Ben Markley
Markley Music / BMI
Production Info:
Produced by Ben Markley
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Colin Bricker
at Mighty Fine Studios - Denver, CO
Recorded March 1, 2019
Band photo by Dougan Smith
Cover design & layout by John Bishop

"... playful and swinging, full of matter-of-fact phrasing and sound harmonic progressions..." - ALL ABOUT JAZZ

For Ben Markley's fourth recording, the fleet pianist/composer teams with New York tenor saxophone great Joel Frahm for a dynamic set of modern jazz originals. Though written specifically with the band of Frahm, drummer Jim White, and bassist Marty Kenny in mind, Markley continually finds inspiration from significant influences in his musical life, most notably Cedar Walton, Chick Corea and Bill Evans. With engaging and elevating support from Kenney and White, Markley and Frahm pop on the boogaloo "'Mon Back," strike a Jazz Messengers-esque pose on the grooving "Return of Catboy," and strut on the half-time funk of the title tune.

"Frahm's playing bubbles over with ear-catching inventiveness and a robust, positive feeling."
- Ottawa Citizen



New York | Palm Beach | Buenos Aires

About the Author / Scott H. Thompson

About Scott Thompson Thompson served as Assistant Director of Public Relations for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York for almost a decade. With a background in broadcast journalism, Thompson’s voice and work has been heard on the Associated Press Radio Network, the Mutual Broadcasting network and NBC-AM New York, on The Morning Show. His experience spans radio, television, print and the internet. Thompson co-produced the New Haven Jazz Festival from 1994-2000. A prolific writer, Thompson has contributed to DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazziz, and the All Music Guide. He penned the CD liner notes to Herbie Hancock Head Hunters, Weather Report 8:30, George Duke Brazilian Love, Stan Getz The New Collection, The Essence of Maynard Ferguson, and The Essence of Al DiMeola. Scott is one of the original members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Editor’s note: Style Quarterly is very pleased to make the connection with Scott and values his enthusiastic support of Jazz.


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