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Mark Wade Trio | Moving Day

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Moving Day

by Mark Wade Trio

The second album release from critically acclaimed bassist and composer Mark Wade, voted 10 bassist of 2016 by Downbeat Magazine.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Moving Day
8:13 album only
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2. Wide Open
5:30 album only
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3. The Bells
6:43 album only
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4. Another Night in Tunisia
7:31 album only
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5. Something of a Romance
5:55 album only
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6. Autumn Leaves
7:21 album only
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7. Midnight in the Cathedral
6:51 album only
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8. The Quarter
4:04 album only
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9. In the Fading Rays of Sunlight
7:08 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Liner notes for 'Moving Day' -

When I first heard Mark Wade's music, I knew there was something special about not only his bass playing but how he interprets and creates imagery with his music. I wrote of his debut release, Event Horizon (2015), "What Mark understands is the essence of musical colours and textures. Even without horns, there is a fullness and fluidity to this album – and that is down to the composition." This was true then and is even more so today, just two years on.

When Mark told me of his plans to release a new CD, I was pleased. When he asked if I would write the sleeve notes, I was honoured. I have to admit to feeling rather smug, because if ever I wanted to be connected to releases, this is one of them.

Event Horizon contained compositions written in the abstract. Mark chose sounds that intrigued and interested him, and the result was a very well-received debut album. It would have been easy simply to follow suit with something along the same lines, but the tunes on this CD represent a point of departure for Mark as a composer. Mark found inspiration for many of the numbers in specific places or experiences, and so from the start, the CD is far more personal and emotive than Event Horizon, though the abstract finds its place here too. There is a sense of Mark Wade opening up yet more of his treasure-trove and sharing more of his musical gifts with the listener. And gifts they are.

“Moving Day” is an attempt to capture the complex feelings of moving – from the anticipation, the sadness of leaving, the packing up of everything close and landing in another place you would call home. Mark has moved around 15 times, so this is written from experience and conjures up essences of nostalgia and expectation. The repeated theme imparts a sense of the familiar coming along and being found amongst all the changes of a new place, with changes in rhythm and accents.

“Something of a Romance” is a musical description of the emotions of a budding romance – the wonderings, the dreaming and the excitement of the possibility of love.

“Midnight in the Cathedral” took its inspiration from the similarities between elements of medieval and modern jazz music. The picture in Mark's head was one of being in an old cathedral at night, imagining all the music played over the years echoing around in the eaves. It traverses styles with ease, and from the percussive opening through respective changes, the tune develops. Mark uses an altered version of the melancholic Latin Mass song for the dead, the “Dies Irae,” with bass and piano unison to end the song.

“The Quarter” is a musical representation of the French Quarter in New Orleans. The two themes echo first the Quarter by day as the party gets going, with a second, slightly edgier theme as the nightlife and alcohol kick in and things are not quite as they seem (!) The ending has a sound redolent of a full brass band marching through the street in the distance just as most people are drifting off to sleep.

“In the Fading Rays of Sunlight” is a musical portrait of the setting sun on a beautiful summer evening – somewhere that’s green and peaceful.

Gillespie's “A Night in Tunisia” is given some delicious twists in Mark’s “Another Night in Tunisia”; the oft-heard standard is presented with some delicate (and some deliberately not so delicate) alterations.

Kosma's “Autumn Leaves” is another familiar tune but this time welded with Herbie Hancock's “Maiden Voyage” to the bridge, whilst maintaining the essence and melody of the original.

Some of Mark's more abstract-based composition is still here, and he has a penchant, it seems, for mixing time signatures and rhythms. In “Wide Open” he uses two themes, one being an odd-meter, dance-like melody and the second a short rising line. The two ideas stretch out and intertwine as the track unfolds, flowing like two streams apart, then coming together to create a stronger flow for a while before veering off again. There is a bass-led section to inspire in this piece.

“The Bells” has three themes intricately interwoven. The first is an adaptation of a melody fragment from Debussy's “La Mer” whilst the second is a representation of the seaside with a nod to the French Impressionist composers. The third theme was inspired by a trip to Nice in France where, in the Old Quarter of the city, Mark heard two distant church bells that rang at dissonant intervals and different tempos.

I have followed Mark's progress from tentative recordings to full-blown CD to regular gigs at some of the top U.S. clubs, and it is no surprise to hear the quality in this CD. I know Mark is one for detail, and the honing that has gone into each track is extraordinary, yet you can still hear the essence, the grind, the gorgeousness of the music itself; Mark never once loses the connection to jazz music at its broad, generous, encompassing best. That Mark's bass playing is exceptional is proven, and here he provides many chances for the listener to hear his range and variety of playing, but there is also a generosity to the other musicians, and Mark uses them to add intricacies and extra interest to many of the numbers. His compositions are structured and varied, and his takes on familiar numbers gives them additional direction that makes them into something extraordinary. There is no tentativeness here as, for example, in “Another Night in Tunisia” he allows the theme to be rendered almost unconscious by the drums at one point. Yet at other moments the music is feather light and delicate.

There is depth and texture to this album such that even after several plays in you are still unwrapping the contents. Each listen reveals just a little more. You sense the music has been weighed, assayed and purified until the listener is left with purest gold. This is a CD for the shelf of every music lover, to be regularly taken down and played, and with each play a new discovery is just around the musical corner.

- Sammy Stein is a Senior Writer for Jazz in Europe and author of the book All That’s Jazz, published by Tomahawk Press (Sheffield, England, 2017). She also writes for several other outlets and publications, including All About Jazz and Something Else Reviews.

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