183

Mark O: Awakening

By

Sign in to view read count
Mark O: Awakening Awakening is the sort of recording that makes demands of its listeners. Mark O'Leary (electric guitar), Steve Swallow (bass guitar) and Pierre Favre (percussion) manage to create a charmingly introspective record by insulating what is invariably solid jazz with a fusion of rocky harmonies.

In a genre dominated by musicians keen on experimentation, being good by default may easily just streamline into mediocrity. As a whole, Awakening is anything but mediocre. It's a surprisingly pleasant recording propelled by an impressive array of songs that lull listeners into concentrating on each note intently, not wanting to miss a single break in rhythm. On certain tracks, however, you can feel the musicians falling back on their safety net. Kymer and "MTF, most notably, are rather lukewarm, sounding too safe, like the musicians are relying on a tried-and-true formula. Fortunately, those tracks are anomalies.

O'Leary's electric guitar cuts into the sweeping percussion patterns and forms jagged, sweet melodic splices. "Melting, by far the best track, is composed of hypnotic and richly textured soft guitar undulations. The versatility of Swallow's bass is evident on "Last Light and "First Light. Conceptually, the tracks share similar titles but little else. They're meant to be audio paradoxes: the former is a relaxed combination of solemn moans, the latter an almost surreal thread of palpitating bass drones.

So, no, this is not the sort of record you can experience passively. You must listen and listen hard, taking mental notes and backing up when you deem appropriate. O'Leary, Swallow and Favre offer something that is anything but exhausting. It's an invigorating, crisp experience that's worth the effort.

Track Listing: Bello Corazon; Last Light; First Light; In a Moment; Awakening; Kymer; Melting; MTF; Paths; Prelude.

Personnel: Mark O'Leary: electric guitar; Steve Swallow: bass guitar; Pierre Favre: percussion.

Title: Awakening | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Leo Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 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!