Currently serving on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, pianist Mark Soskin knows a thing or two about what keeps jazz alive and well in today's competitive entertainment market.
His straight-ahead quartet interprets this program of nine standards and originals with fire in their eyes and adrenalin in their fingers. As the pianist takes his solo romp during the ensemble's interpretation of Chick Corea's "Innerspace, you can feel the heat waves stretching out in all directions at once. Soskin balances his fast and furious program with lyrical melodies that progress gently. His title track dances delicately as though waltzing across the floor of a warm estate ballroom. Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Bill Stewart work cohesively to maintain an excellent flow. Guitarist John Abercrombie, who sits in for two of Soskin's compositions, "Step Lively and "Strive, fits in with this close-knit group quite naturally. The former runs with articulate animation, while the latter moves at a more languid pace. Potter employs soprano here for a more stringent sound.
At fifty-four and with seven previous albums as leader, the pianist finds himself buried in creative ideas that flow freely. His superb way with a keyboard is at its most evident as he closes the album with a solo piano interpretation of Clare Fischer's "Pensativa. Here, he's outspoken in his quest to bring adventure into every phrase, every measure of his One Hopeful Day.
Track Listing: On the Street Where You Live; Bemsha Swing; Innerspace; One Hopeful Day; Step Lively; Its Easy to Remember; End of a Love Affair; Strive; Pensativa.
Personnel: Mark Soskin: piano; John Patitucci: double bass; Bill Stewart: drums; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone (8); John Abercrombie: guitar (5, 8).
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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