168

Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band: Aurora

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band: Aurora The last artistic musical movement in jazz to be given a meaningful name was the post-bop movement. Arising out of the mid-1960s as a unifying response to hard bop, modal, the avant-garde and free jazz, post-bop has fairly well dominated the most creative jazz made in the last 30 years. If post-bop has a ground zero, it is the recordings of the second great Miles Davis Quintet (Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams), either collectively or separately.

But, in this same previous 30 year span, jazz has been atomizing in such a way as to continually defy such categorization. The music today operates at such a high level, with such superb musicianship, that disparate influences are seamlessly attached at a note level. The benefit of a long and generous history is that there is much experience to draw from and add to. When this is done well, it hastens and redefines the critical gravity of the music. The result of such an evolution is the Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band.

Isaacs is a well-known and very popular pianist/composer from Australia by way of London, who has been recording since the early 1980s. In the intervening years, Isaacs has evolved and honed a jazz vision as sophisticated as it is unique. His "Resurgence Band" developed out of his 2007 ABC Jazz recording of the same name. Isaacs followed that effort with his first Resurgence Band recording, Tell It Like It Is (ABC Jazz, 2010), defining the sound of early 21st Century jazz in the same way Oliver Nelson defined the jazz sound at mid-20th Century on, for example, Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!, 1961).

The most readily accessible piece on the recording is the R&B-impregnated "For the Road," which opens with a James Muller electric guitar fanfare, ending in a thoroughly down-home blues coda before mating Les McCann/Eddie Harris's "Compared to What} with Art Pepper's "Make a List (Make a Wish)," forming a wickedly complex and lengthy, hook-crammed head. All of the elements of earlier styles are present, but the prism of Mark Isaacs refracts these styles upward, into new musical realms.

Isaacs does this with the following ballad, "Bagatelle" which begins with the familiar Pachebel "Canon in D Major" harmonic progression. The past can be heard, but only through the glass, transformed by the composer and his considerable band. Generously, Isaacs includes a DVD of the band's live performance of the previous recording, Tell It Like It Is that definitively drives home the power and impressiveness of this music.


Track Listing: CD: Will-'o-the-Wisp; Good Tidings; Emergence; Threnady; For the Road; Bagatelle; Aurora. DVD: Minsk; You Never Forget Love; Homecoming; Night Song Part 1; Night Song Part 2; Angel; Tell It Like It Is; Between the Shores. Bonus Features: Intro by Andrew Ford; What Was Said Between Songs.

Personnel: Mark Isaacs: piano; James Muller: electric and acoustic guitars; Matt Keegan: soprano and tenor saxophones; Brett Hirst: bass; Tim Firth: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Gracemusic | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
piano
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Ulf Wakenius Ulf Wakenius
guitar
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor
Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
guitar
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Kenny Barron Kenny Barron
piano
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
trumpet
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano
Jason Moran Jason Moran
piano

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Uh Oh!" CD/LP/Track Review Uh Oh!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Sign of the Crow" CD/LP/Track Review Sign of the Crow
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Chapters Of My Life" CD/LP/Track Review Chapters Of My Life
by James Nadal
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "The Intergalactic Thing" CD/LP/Track Review The Intergalactic Thing
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face" CD/LP/Track Review Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face
by John Eyles
Published: March 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!