Dominic J Marshall Trio: Icaros (2012)

A great CD by the Dominic J Marshall Trio titled ‘Icaros’. The music is really good, but the main reason why I’m posting is because of the Cover Art –  a painting by Pablo Amaringo ‘ Las Nalpeas del Renaco’. Although I’m on old Vinyl cover art Album fan I do have to say that the adaptation of the painting to the CD cover format is really outstanding (and the music is good!).

A Brief Summary narrative of the Painting ‘Las Nalpeas del Renaco’, featured in the bbok ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ Inner Traditions (2011)

Las Napeas del Renaco – Nymphs of the Renaco tree

The renaco tree (Ficus trigona) you see growing here by a water fall is guarded over by napeas or nymphs looking like mermaids. The renaco is their temple, palace and sanctuary, where they dance and sing enchanting icaros of the matico plant, for example, which shamans use to craft shacapas or fans which they shake like rattles to accompany their icaros.

In the ayahuasca ceremony below, the maestro is smoking mapacho to intensify the mareación, or visionary effects of ayahuasca. This is shown by the radiant electromagnetic patterns around them.


Some reviews of the album;


By Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 16, 2012

Just who is Dominic J Marshall? A little bit of George Shearing, a spot of Esbjorn Svensson, a modicum ofRobert Glasper and a smidgeon of Neil Cowley are all present on Icaros, the second trio album from the young pianist. Lest this sounds like Marshall is a man who has yet to find his own voice, it’s worth stating at the outset that such a combination has blended together to create an individual sound: Marshall is Marshall.

Marshall comes from Bannockburn, a village in Scotland best know for a battle in 1314 which saw the Scots vanquish Edward II’s invading army. After studying at Leeds College of Music, Marshall relocated to Amsterdam, where he is now based. He released his debut trio record, The Oneness (Self Produced) in 2011, while in his parallel career as a beatmaker he’s released a series of recordings. Clearly, a busy musician. Just as clearly, as his playing and writing on Icaros demonstrate, a talented musician with an ability to mix contemporary hip-hop and electronic influences with those from recent decades of jazz history.

The pianist is blessed with a genuinely exciting rhythm section. Dutch bassist Tobias Nijboerand Latvian drummer Kaspars Kurdeko are tough, dynamic and imaginative players and deserve recognition for their part in creating the Trio’s distinctive sound. Kurdeko is readily able to contribute punchy and powerful beats, but he’s also a very melodic player. Nijboer is a fluid and creative pizzicato bassist while his arco work— heard all-too-briefly—is delicate. The pair can also swing with old school style, underpinning Marshall’s playing on “Sphere”—perhaps inspired by Thelonious Monk—with a rare elegance that matches the pianist’s own.

In the company of this excellent rhythm section, Marshall’s contributions as a writer—all of the compositions on the album are his—and as a player are consistently enjoyable. His solo opening to “Smile For Us” has grace and melancholy; on “The Basement,” he shifts from hard-hitting percussive phrases to jagged chords to funk with ease (and the help of Kurdeko and Nijboer’s superb rhythm playing) before ending with a minute or so of gentle classically-influenced playing; “Pointer” highlights the confident energy in his lower register work.

Marshall had just turned 23 years of age when he recorded Icaros in June 2012. He’s a precocious talent, still absorbing influences and experimenting with his approaches to playing and composition. Exactly where he’ll end up is not yet clear but he certainly has an approach to the piano trio that shows real promise for the future— particularly in the company of Nijboer and Kurdeko. Icaros is a fine album, a promise of even greater things to come.

Track Listing: Loose In Your Atmosphere; Pointer; Smile For Us; Sphere; Ojos De La Pastora; Makarska; The Way Of The Dinosaurs; Alongside Aliens; No Umbrella; The Basement.

Personnel: Dominic J Marshall: piano; Tobias Nijboer: double bass; Kaspars Kurdeko: drums.

Record Label: F-IRE Records | Style: Modern Jazz

Review from Tokyo Jazz Notes

Dominic J Marshall may not yet be a name familiar to most jazz fans around the world, but you get the feeling that this is something that could change in the not too distant future. Studying classical piano from a young age, he then switched to jazz, attending the Leeds College of Music and later at the Conservatorium von Amsterdam, where he is currently based.

Icaros is his second album release, his trio this time completed by Tobias Nijboer on bass and Kaspars Kurdeko on drums, with ten new original tunes that are both complex and accessible at the same time. At times there are shades of Canvas or In My Element era Glasper, as well as E.S.T., though the whole is very much Marshall’s own sound.
Loose In Your Atmosphere is the animated opening number, with Marshall providing some nimble work on the keyboards and the rhythm section given its chance to shine too.  From there it’s onto Pointer, with something of a slow head-nodding groove until the last minute or so where Marshall plays the tune out unaccompanied.
The solo piano continues at the start of Smile For Us, with its beautifully mesmerising melodies. The bass comes in at the minute and a half point building on the mood of the first half, but when Kurdeko joins on the drums the pace really picks up and Marshall explores lots of ideas with his soloing before the spotlight falls on Kurdeko for the climax of the tune, Nijboer’s bass underpinning the tune the whole way through. Most certainly on of the high points on the set.
Sphere shows that the trio feel equally at home with more traditional jazz arrangements as contemporary sounds, with the track swinging nicely in old school almost Monk-like style.
Ojos de la Pastora starts with some gentle introspective piano before switching into a more uptempo groove with some impressive solo work from Marshall and Kurdeko again featuring strongly as the tune builds up towards a climax before returning to the more subdued original theme.
The next couple of tunes have a very contemporary groove: The Way Of The Dinosaurs is a mischievous tune that is both playful and complex at the same time; and the catchy Alongside Aliens is another wonderful tune that warrants repeated listens.
Icaros is a strong album throughout highlighting both Dominic J Marshall’s strength as composer and performer, as well as the talents of the rhythm section. This trio shows enormous promise and the album is a delight from start to finish. Let’s hope that it attracts enough attention in Japan to warrant some tour dates here in the future. Without a doubt one of the best piano trio albums of the year.
Review from London Jazz
Dominic J. Marshall Trio – Icaros
(F-IRE CD 62. CD Review By Chris Parker)

‘Icaros’ are, according to pianist/composer Dominic J. Marshall, ‘songs […] learned directly from plant spiritsand/or received in dreams’ by shamans from South American rainforest tribes, and there is indeed a direct, vibrant spontaneity characterising the ten pieces he has composed for this, the second trio album released under his name (he has also issued, while he was studying at Leeds College of Music, a trio album under the name Tyratarantis).

Icaros features a different bass/drums pairing from the one on Marshall’s debut (The Oneness, reviewed elsewhere on this site), Tobias Nijboer and Kaspars Kurdeko respectively, and they bring a crisp, rattling, street-smart propulsiveness to his music, particularly to his trademark fiercely dramatic, tumultuous pieces featuring cascading, often downright grandiloquent piano.

There are also, of course, quieter moments in this rich and varied set, but at whatever tempo they set for themselves, the trio imbue their playing with all the inspired, fiercely interactive energy suggested by the album’s title, and Icarosshould be investigated by all those listeners already drawn to contemporary jazz-piano-trio music by the likes of Kit Downes, Curios, Alex Hutton et al.

Review from the

The Original Painting by Pablo Amaringo