You ever listen to an album and get the strong sense of how long it took to create? I know, that’s a weird question to ask. Still though, maybe 2 years? More?
These were the questions that came to mind when I was listening to Marcus D’s newest release — Melancholy Prequel (Rising Sun Redux) released last week on April 11.
To get to the point it’s a love letter to genre of jazz. Marcus in my opinion has created the quintessential jazz + hip hop fusion album of the year. Bold statement I know, so here’s some words on ther project to back that up.
Also you can just skip my words & sample songs if you want.
The album opens up with Jazzalytic, the song is a proper introduction to the nature of the album. Its a soothing composition with a strong windwood instrument presence. It’s a welcome of things to come. The bass and accompanying sounds make it rather contemporary. It carries that rhythmic subtly unique to jazz.
The album then moves to the second offering with Lost Memories. This is one of my personal favorites of the LP. The track is a little more modern in production. The song is a collection of bass, piano, and what would be best described as chill. Its a track that would best appreciated after a long day and offers a moment of notable pause. Certainly feels like its part of the nu jazz subgenre.
The third entry, Bar Lupin left a lasting impression on me as well. The tune sounds like the name implies describes that bar environment. The track is for a word very classic in form and execution. The crux of the song is the impressive piano play joined by the occasional vocals here and there. I wonder if the bar of which the song is named after has one is also home to a lone pianist
Moving on to the fourth jam, we are welcomed with Dedicated to you (My love). Its pretty straight forward in its message. It feels as if this song was removed from a few decades back. The song involves the some of that timelessness associated with jazz. It real captures that sound of the times. If I didn’t know any better my parents could’ve told me they danced to this.
Fifth place comes in the form of Morning Light. I believe the name was really on the nose here. The track encapsulates the feelings of starting the day. It start offs subtly enough. As the beat moves on the tempo quickens. Its synonymous to your day if you will. It picks up once you here the saxophone. I mean jazz isn’t jazz without a saxophone.
What would One Fine Day sound like to you? The sixth track provides some answers. It invokes that pure melodic form. Its very subdued and each instrument punctuates the song as their introduced. Its also slow and notably deliberate as the song plays. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this song portrays the feel of the album alone. Smooth jazz at its finest.
Moving away from the chiller jazz, It Chose Me is more upbeat and vibrant. The song invokes jovial feelings. It also brings the study of jazz to modern times again. Its a catchy tune and easygoing. I’m guessing the title is a reference to the love of jazz and music in general. Its hard not to enjoy with its variance of sounds and just nod your had to jazz fusion.
When you hear the ninth jam, Tengu it feels like we are again moving across the subgenres interchangeably. Marcus really is able to acknowledge jazz’s roots and build on its formula. It’s no question this trumpet supported track feels that it would be home among bars and lounges in the 1960s. It also feels as an anthem when you’re on the raise. I mean, Tengu are known to fly after all.
The tenth addition is Effervescence and I would consider it another staple example of Marcus’ vision. Effervescence is described as vivacity and enthusiasm. This is everything that track number ten offers. It has this energy and uptempo vibe that’s hard to ignore. The second it start the track opens with that classical jazzy arrangement — its easy listening from start to finish.
The next noteworthy offering comes from track 14, Apparition in the Night. Its a standout track for its composition of the woodwind variety. The flute moves as the beat follows. The airy vibe further cements another tonal shift and style. No other track sounds like this and vice versa. This is the core of jazz as a musical genre, it can be applied to so much and still retrain its core message.
By now, you’ll know that this album is completely instrumental. However their is an exception with track 15; 400 Years of Perseverance. The track features DMV emcee Javier Starks. Starks provides lyrics that are bold and encouraging. He lends his lyrics over a very classical jazz production. The fusion of hip hop and jazz is very familiar. Th synergy makes too much sense. So Marcus and Starks create something you’ll probably be listening to for years.
The album is 18 tracks strong and so I return back to my initial thought. As I said earlier; Melancholy Prequel (Rising Sun Redux) is the quintessential jazz hiphop fusion album. Marcus D is able to take his years of experience as a producer and Jazz student and put it on wax. You have an album that presents all of jazz and its subgenres without missing a beat.
You may not even be a fan of Jazz and that’s understandable. However if you needed point of entry to understand the genre, look no further than this album.
Marcus is something of a world warrior, so he’s on the grind performing and creating. I would recommend following him to keep update with his projects. He also shares thoughts on modern music via social media. I tend to find music talk with artists very interesting.
In closing, I recommend getting this album. If you need something to just chill to or enjoy your alone; Marcus D’s Melancholy Prequel (Rising Sun Redux) is available now for your listening pleasure.