Different Shade of Blue
Lenny Marcus hails from Washington D.C. and worked for many years in New Orleans and south Louisiana. While there, Lenny had the opportunity to study with world-renowned jazz educator Alvin Batiste at Southern University, as well as the legendary jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, among others. Perhaps the greatest influences came, however, from the strong left-handed, blues-oriented pianist Ray Bryant, to whom Lenny grew up listening, as well as the more modern, modal approach of McCoy Tyner. His bluesy, vocal phrasings remind the listener of a young Mose Allison, with a little Michael Franks mixed in. Lenny also brings his own unique style, providing a fresh innovative, and highly creative approach to the jazz listener. Lenny is featured on several albums, including six as leader: BAT IN THE HAT; the widely acclaimed REMEMBER INFINITY; the 1998 CD with world-renowned guitarist Charlie Byrd A DIFFERENT SHADE OF BLUE; JAZZAPHRENIA, with featured guests Frank Foster and Sonny Fortune; JAZZ TONIGHT featuring trumpeter Brian Lynch of The Phil Woods Quintet and Chip McNeill of Arturo Sandoval's group; and his latest CD, CATHEXIS, joined by the legendary David Fathead Newman on sax and flute; the lyrical Ray Codrington on flugelhorn and trumpet, the burning horns of Brian Lynch on trumpet and Chip McNeill on sax; and finally, the stellar Jane Powell who adds vocals on a couple of tracks. The next stop was New Orleans, the musical equivalent of gumbo. There, his formal and informal musical education grew exponentially. He studied with Ellis Marsalis (father of Wynton and Branford) and with renowned clarinetist Alvin Batiste. In true New Orleans fashion, Batiste taught his students to hear all music - be it Hendrix or Mozart or Basie - and appreciate what it offers. Marcus now lives in Roanoke, Virginia but covered a lot of miles before he got to Roanoke. At their house in D.C., Marcus' parents hosted a stream of accomplished musicians, including Charlie Byrd and pianist Ray Bryant. It's not quite the old 'Mama sang bass, daddy sang tenor,' routine, but his mother did play the upright bass, and his dad did play piano.