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Mark Lewis: Sunlight Shines In

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Mark Lewis: Sunlight Shines In
Saxophonist/flutist Mark Lewis, who has returned to his native Washington state after years of making beautiful music around the world, escorts a quartet of talented West Coast musicians through eleven of his upbeat compositions on Sunlight Shines In, with trumpeter Nolan Shaheed sitting in on two numbers. Although Lewis' tunes won't widen any horizons, they are resolutely earnest and congenial and provide a pleasurable listening experience.

Lewis plays alto sax on six tracks, flute on four, tenor on the lustrous medium-tempo "Swami's Song." On alto, his glossy, vibrato-less sound is reminiscent of (but perceptibly heavier than) the late great Paul Desmond. The flute is buoyant and agile, and Lewis uses overtones effectively on the fast-paced "Square B," a deep bow to the incomparable Rahsaan Roland Kirk. That is one of five dedications; the others are to Miles Davis ("Leaving Fall Behind"), pianist Mike Renzi ("Mike's Tango"), friends Roger and Julie Cotes ("Julie's Butterfly") and Lewis' life partner, Rhonda Stewart ("The 'H' Is Silent").

Besides "Square B," Lewis plays flute on "Mike's Tango," "Leaving Fall Behind" and the breezy finale, "Lovely Dancer," while Shaheed links in (from his Pasadena, CA, studio) to enrich "Leaving Fall Behind" and "Swami's Song." The session, which opens with the melodious "Lunar Escape," also includes "Sunlight Shines In," "Rain" and "Ghost of a Chance" (another Lewis original, not the Victor Young/Ned Washington standard from 1932). Each one is light-hearted, lyrical and worth listening to more than once.

As for Lewis, he is splendid, as is his hard-working and dependable rhythm section (pianist Ron Kobayashi, bassist Baba Elefante, drummer Steve Dixon). Lewis is also blind, which is irrrelevant when listening to his music. File Sunlight Shines In under "PS," for "Pleasant Surprises."

Track Listing

Lunar Escape; Mike’s Tango; Ghost of a Chance; Sunlight Shines In; Leaving Fall Behind; Square B; Julie’s Butterfly; Rain; The H is Silent; Swami’s Song; Lovely Dancer.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Mark Lewis: flute

Album information

Title: Sunlight Shines In | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Audio Daddio


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