All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

138

Bill MacKay and Sounds of Now: Bill MacKay and Sounds of Now

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz has always been a reflection of diversity and culture. It has grown to embrace the roots of ethnic music originating from global sources. Just as it has flourished in America, its branches have extended to encompass many other musical styles. Some of that can be heard on Sounds of Now, by Chicago guitarist Bill MacKay, who loosely defines the music as "broken or "garage jazz (relating the idea of a broken bottle into which various musical elements have seeped).

MacKay, a versatile guitarist, can play in modes ranging from mainstream to modern, as recently heard on violinist SavoirFaire's Running Out of Time. Now performing his own music, the sounds are more melodic, complex, and insightful. Like broken glass, the music glimmers, with its various shards illuminating influences like rock, blues, and folk music. This becomes apparent on "Soul in Violet as the quartet opens with a picturesque melody colored by the rustic presence of a banjo.

Giving way to a western rural motif, "Illumination is also marked by soulful playing and nice soloing by MacKay and saxophonist Greg Ward, with slight touches of free jazz and good interaction. MacKay's playing is skillful as he fills the spaces with intricate chords, thoughtful notes, and a pleasing tone on the gentle "Sleepwalking.

Overall the music is balanced by equal amounts of harmony and exploration, and everyone gets time to express themselves. The "garage presence comes into play on the closing "Serpentine, whose mellow rawness is filled with various textures, phrasings, and layered solos. If this seems a little hard to describe, that's because it is. Like a sponge, modern jazz soaks up a variety of sounds, and interesting and unique recordings like this one occasionally seep out.

This recording is available from CD Baby on the web.


Track Listing: Soul in Violet; Illumination; Sleepwalking; Idyll; The Bystander; Serpentine.

Personnel: Bill MacKay: guitar; Bud Melvin: banjo (1); Charles Rumback: drums; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Kyle Hernandez: bass (1-3,6); Todd Hill: bass (1,4-6).

Title: Bill MacKay and Sounds of Now | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "All Through the Night" CD/LP/Track Review All Through the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "A Woman's Journey" CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Journey
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" CD/LP/Track Review Avant-Garde Party Music
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "No Excuses" CD/LP/Track Review No Excuses
by Thomas Earl
Published: January 9, 2018