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.

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


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Unlimited" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!