A very interesting version of Take Five. Coming in at over 8 minutes, pianist Phillip Strange plays both Brubeck and Desmond with Larry Marshall on drums playing the hard driving role of Joe Morello. A Nat Adderley cover of The Old Country leads of the new album by Philip Strange joined by drummer Larry Marshall on most original tunes written by Strange and contributions by Marshall. Phillip Strange is a relative new comer on piano as this is his second album, Quiet being his first, released in 2000 on Summit Records.
Having the piano/drummer setup with no bassist could be tricky to some but to Strange/Marshall they seem to strive. Instead of just taking the classics like Take Five and Someday My Prince Will Come and doing them note for note, Strange and Marshall take them beyond, stretching them out to six to eight minute tracks. Larry Marshall’s drumming on The Old Country is superb, mellow yet forceful at the same time. The left hand of Phillip Strange is the glue that holds each song together; he plays the role of bassist on most to all of the songs.
Original composition "In The Moment" is subtle. It is excellent to see the Strange and Marshall not just putting out a classic songbook record but coming up with their own pieces and after 5 years of playing together with no proper planning to this album, "In The Moment" is proof that you can get to know someone musically by just being around them, watching what they do.
Phillip Strange and Larry Marshall have a winning album. Not too many piano/drum albums can be pulled off without it being to overdriven by one instrument. They have achieved total equalness with each other and material selected and written. Larry Marshall’s cymbal work is amazing, the left hand of Phillip Strange is equal, this album will not have you just take five to listen; it will have you take sixty five.