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Today I will be review Marquis Hill’s album Modern Flows Vol. 1. With Christopher McBride on saxophone, Joshua Ramos on acoustic bass, Bryan Doherty on electric bass, Makaya Craven on drums, and Marquis Hill on trumpet this album is not only virtuosic but truly a Chicago album.

STANDOUT TRACKS

White Shadows is definitely one of my favorite tracks on this album. It has a beautiful melody, the interplay between the bass, drums, and xylophone is fantastic, and the rapping by Keith Winford is just icing on the cake. I really loved how Keith Winford was included in this song. His inclusion doesn’t feel forced. It feels like he’s just as vital to the development of the song as every other musician. So many times when a rapper is mixed into Jazz it just feels like the groove and dynamics plateau and everyone is just waiting for the verse to be over. That’s not the case here. Winford shines and makes this a standout track.

I Remember Summer is another standout track. It has a great laid back feel and it reminds me of old school R&B music. It’s a short, but sweet track with a great xylophone solo by Justin Thomas. Thomas doesn’t play a furry of notes. he develops and builds his solo and keep the laid back feel going. Same with the Sax solo by Christopher McBride. I love the comping underneath his solo as well. It was simple but effective.

“Flow” is a more traditional jazz song. It’s fast paced and played with a lot of energy. Xylophone solos first and definitely adjusts to the mood of the song. The soloing is busier and more dynamic in this solo as opposed to the previous solos. Marquis Hill has a burning solo where he just flys on his trumpet. This should be no surprise to those that have been following Hill’s career, but it’s still nice to hear him blow over a more traditional song on this album to remind you of just how virtuosic he is. There’s a nice drum solo section near the end which brings us back to the melody concluding the tune.

Marquis Hill’s Modern Flows Vol 1. is a well thought out album which blends Jazz, R&B, and Hip hop perfectly. This album is not just ten of Marquis Hills’ best tunes. It plays like an album. It has reoccurring motifs, a consistent theme, and the tracks build off of each other. You can listen to each track individually, but you would lose part of the connection. This album sounds best when played uninterrupted from front to back.

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