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Mads Tolling and the Mads Men: Playing the 60s

Read "Playing the 60s" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

From the first arco tones, something sounds very familiar, yet hard to identify. The tone in question is big and full, dry, but not too much so. Were this tone a libation, it would be an Old Fashion. Sleek and commanding, yes, this makes me think of Svend Asmussen. This should be no surprise both wunderkind Mads Tolling and Asmussen are Danes with solid technical ability on the violin and a prodigious knowledge of the jazz songbook. Assmussen has just ...

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Mads Tolling Quartet: Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty

Read "Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Mads Tolling spent nine prominent years with the Turtle Island Quartet; here, with his quartet, the Grammy Award-winning violinist hails Jean Luc-Ponty at Yoshi's jazz venue in Oakland, CA. Tolling contributes two original compositions to complement six Ponty-penned works, amid other pieces culled from the legendary French violinist's expansive discography. It's a bit sleeker, when directly contrasting Ponty's epic jazz-fusion Enigmatic Ocean (Atlantic, 1977). But Tolling turns up the heat via his intensely soaring unison choruses with ...

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Mads Tolling: The Playmaker

Read "The Playmaker" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Former wide receiver Michael Irvin earned his nickname, “The Playmaker," for his leadership and performance with the Dallas Cowboys. Violinist Mads Tolling honors several others whose play-making proficiency has helped their teams, whether in the athletic arena or on the stage. A two-time Grammy Award-winner, Tolling is a native of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a member of the Turtle Island Quartet, but has also performed with Al Di Meola, Kenny Barron, Paquito D'Rivera and Leo Kottke. For The ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mads Tolling: The Playmaker

Read "The Playmaker" reviewed by John Kelman

He's been around for a few years as a member of the Turtle Island Quartet, but for some he's best known for his work on Stanley Clarke's welcome return to fusion, The Toys of Men (Heads Up, 2007). Either way, The Playmaker isn't the violinist's first release as a leader--that would be Speed of Light (Self Published, 2008)--but it's the first to expand his trio, featuring guitarist Mike Abraham and bassist George Ban- Weiss, to a more powerful quartet with ...