Eric Marienthal has always had limitless potential. Primarily known as an altoist but also an excellent player on tenor and soprano, Marienthal came to fame with Chick Corea's Elektric Band and tends to sound at his best when teamed with players of that caliber. Many of his own projects suffer from overproduction, a lack of spontaneity and commercial material, but that is not true of Crossroads. In groups ranging from quartets to sextets, Marienthal is challenged by the material (all group originals), matching wits with the likes of keyboardist Russell Ferrante (from the Yellowjackets), bassist John Patitucci and, on three selections, Chick Corea. Crossroads contains some of Eric Marienthal's finest playing outside of the context of the Elektric Band.
Anyone who remembers Eric Marienthal's work with Chick Corea's Elektric Band in the late '80s and early '90s knows how exciting an improviser he can be. This disc has its moments. Botti has an enjoyable spot on Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar," and "Love Don't Live Here" (one of the few tracks that isn't an instrumental) is a pleasant, if unremarkable, urban/adult contemporary item that features singer Deniece Williams. Also noteworthy is Lorber's funky "Hangin' on the Sidewalk," which finds Ford taking a gritty guitar solo.
As he was developing his formidable career in the early era of smooth jazz, the saxman proved an invaluable sideman of Chick Corea's Elektric Band, David Benoit's touring ensemble and a studio player for projects by such artists as Keiko Matsui and Mike Garson. Yet as a solo artist, he spent his first three albums searching for an identity that ranged from pop (Round Trip) to electronic mainstream jazz (Crossroads). With Oasis, his search came to a diverse, exciting, and highly enjoyable end. Marienthal applies his stellar blowing techniquest to styles ranging from folk to gospel, but the overall attitude he conveys is sweet and soulful R&B, as in the hoppin' grooves of the funky opening tracks "Hustlin'" and "Seafood to Go."
Bridges is the sublime collaboration of 2 of the most renowned instrumentalists in Jazz! Between them, saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Chuck Loeb have either written, produced, or performed on more than 50 Top 10 Smooth Jazz radio singles. Both have thrilled audiences around the world for more than 20 years as solo artists and featured artists in various groups: Marienthal with the likes of Chick Corea, The Rippingtons, Keiko Matsui, and Jeff Lorber and Loeb as co-leader of Fourplay and Jazz Funk Soul. Bridges represents these Smooth Jazz icons at their best, but it is more than just a Smooth Jazz album. As the title suggests, these Soundscapes bridge the gap between the commercial world of Smooth Jazz, the tranquility of New Age music, and the more artistic explorations that are at the heart of the true Jazz experience!
Saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Chuck Loeb team up for the relaxing 2015 studio effort Bridges. The album follows up the duo's previous collaboration, 2012's It's Love, which featured production from Loeb and showcased their synergistic musical creativity throughout. This time out, they share production duties on nine original compositions and one cover, an expressive reading of pianist Keith Jarrett's "Lucky Southern." Here, they are joined by the esteemed bassist John Patitucci, as well as drummer Byron Landham and percussionist David Charles…
Saxophonist Eric Marienthal is among contemporary jazz's busiest talents. On the day that It's Love was released, Marienthal also played a starring role on the Jeff Lorber Fusion entry Galaxy. The two albums reflect Marienthal's varied talents, as both a creative improviser and a lover of groove-oriented popular music. It's Love was produced by guitarist Chuck Loeb, who also appears throughout the set. Also in this studio band are Yellowjackets' keyboardist Russell Ferrante, drummer Gary Novak, and bassist Tim Lefebvre.