Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

168

Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band: Aurora

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Aurora | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Gracemusic

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

For the Road

For the Road

Mark Isaacs
Aurora

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Duende

Duende

Gracemusic
2013

buy
Aurora

Aurora

Gracemusic
2011

buy
Resurgence

Resurgence

ABC Jazz
2007

buy
Visions

Visions

Vorticity Music
2006

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Cuando Sea Necesario Album Reviews
Cuando Sea Necesario
By Dan McClenaghan
March 22, 2019
Read West 60th Album Reviews
West 60th
By Peter Hoetjes
March 22, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Mark Corroto
March 22, 2019
Read Arirang Fantasy Album Reviews
Arirang Fantasy
By John Sharpe
March 22, 2019
Read The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul Album Reviews
The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
By Mike Jurkovic
March 22, 2019
Read Octopus Album Reviews
Octopus
By Jack Bowers
March 21, 2019
Read Pinch Point Album Reviews
Pinch Point
By Mark Corroto
March 21, 2019