Tina Marsh & the Bob Rodriguez Trio Out of Time (CreOp Music)
Out of Time (CreOp Music)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Nov. 24, 2000
Tina Marsh & the Bob Rodriguez Trio
Out of Time (CreOp Music)While Tina Marsh may be known primarily for her 20-year (and still counting) involvement as the vocalist and guiding force of Austin's internationally recognized jazz composer's group the Creative Opportunity Orchestra, she's also birthed a number of side projects that allow her to incorporate the more experimental aspects of her work with CO2 with more traditional forms. In fact, this is probably Marsh's most adventurous endeavor to date. Her soaring excursions in interpretive vocalese are given free expressive reign, especially on her original tunes and on those pieces where text rather than verse is employed. Her penchant for Ornette Coleman's music is satisfied by a contemplative, wordless mediation on "Mothers of the Veil." Marsh fares less well on the standards she undertakes; despite a piquant, Latin-tinged turn on "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," her relatively straight readings of "All or Nothing at All" and "You Go to My Head" don't add much to the hundreds of other versions recorded over the decades. Nevertheless, in a very real and positive sense, this is a scaled-down-to-the-essence variation of the Orchestra. Longtime CO2 collaborators pianist Bob Rodriguez and bassist Ken Filliano help Marsh beautifully reprise such gems as "Mezzaluna, Too" from CO2's cassette-only release, Radioactive, and "Milky Way Dreaming" from their 1998 album Worldwide. Marsh is joined at the hip with pianist Rodriguez, who, as primary arranger and impressionistic soloist, is as much a potent contributor here as the vocalist. The spareness of the terrain, when compared to the Orchestra, provides each with ample space to explore. Their intricate, improvisational interplay on the album's closing track "Riddles" is inspired. If they really want to go for broke, next time Marsh and Rodriguez might consider a set of vocal and piano duets. In the meantime, this satisfying effort will suffice quite nicely.