Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Michael Marcus, a performer on various reed instruments, possesses a full, rich tone and a logical yet open-ended style of phrasing that reflects his background in both bop and free jazz. From 1977 to 1980, Marcus toured with blues artists Bobby "Blue" Bland and Albert King. He made his recording debut in 1982 on Sonny Simmons and Billy Higgins' Backwoods Suite. Marcus continued to play and study jazz in New York for the next decade, but his work from this period is largely undocumented. 1992, however, saw the release of Under the Wire, featuring William Parker, Joseph Bowie, Ted Daniel, and Reggie Nicholson, among others. Marcus continued to record in earnest throughout the '90s, performing on a string of albums under his own name. The first of those was 1994's Here At!, which marked the only time that Fred Hopkins had recorded with either Denis Charles or William Parker. 1995 saw the release of a self-titled album by SaxEmble, in which Marcus played with Frank Lowe, James Carter, and others. In 1996, CIMP released two albums by Simmons that featured Marcus. In 1997, Marcus toured with pianist Jaki Byard, and their collaboration, Involution, was released in 1998. In 1998 and 1999, Marcus' other projects included writing string arrangements for his compositions. His 1999 release In the Center of It All marked the first of two collaborations with organist Rahn Burton. During the '90s, Marcus also appeared on plenty of festival bills in the United States and Europe. Since 2000, Marcus has continued to perform and record frequently. With Simmons, he co-led two albums by the Cosmosamatics, and he also performed on Jemeel Moondoc's big-band date Spirit House. He also played on his own albums, including Live in N.Y., Sunwheels and the solo album Speakin' Out.