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Musician

Mark Masters

Born:

Mark Masters (b. 1957) is an inventive and prolific composer and arranger from southern California. He organized his first ensemble in 1982. In 1990, Masters wrote the album PRIESTESS (Capri 74031) to feature Billy Harper and Jimmy Knepper. A subsequent recording with Knepper, THE JIMMY KNEPPER SONGBOOK (Focus 1001, 1993) featured arrangements by Masters of Knepper’s compositions. The most recent recording by Masters, OUR METIER (Capri 74150, 2018), features Andrew Cyrille, Oliver Lake, Gary Foster, Mark Turner, Tim Hagans, Putter Smith, and Dave Woodley in a large ensemble setting

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Article: Year in Review

Jack Bowers: Top 15 Albums of 2021

Read "Jack Bowers: Top 15 Albums of 2021" reviewed by Jack Bowers


In spite of the Covid pandemic (and sometimes because of it!), 2021 was a splendid year for big-band albums, with eleven receiving 4 1/2-star reviews and one (Out on the Coast by the David Angel Big Band) earning five stars. The dominant dozen are listed here alongside top-rated smaller-group albums by Cory Weeds, Gerry Gibbs and ...

Album

Masters & Baron Meet Blanton & Webster

Label: Capri Records
Released: 2021
Track listing: All Too Soon; Duke’s Place; I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good); A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; What Am I Here For?; Jack the Bear; Perdido; Passion Flower; Take the ‘A’ Train; Ko- Ko; Introduction to In a Mellotone; In a Mellotone.

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Ensemble Novo, Mark Masters & Kurt Rosenwinkel

Read "Ensemble Novo, Mark Masters & Kurt Rosenwinkel" reviewed by Joe Dimino


The 722nd Episode of Neon Jazz happens to be a celebration of the birthday I share with the legendary vibes cat Terry Gibbs on October, 13, 2021. I threw together a collection of recent interviews with veteran musicians who have new CDs in 2021. We begin with a re-issue from Kurt Rosenwinkel and make our way ...

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Article: Album Review

Mark Masters: Masters & Baron Meet Blanton & Webster

Read "Masters & Baron Meet Blanton & Webster" reviewed by Jack Bowers


It is an absolute pleasure to hear several of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn's classic charts for Ellington's celebrated 1940-42 Blanton-Webster orchestra (named for a pair of its stars, bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster) adeptly rescored for a twenty-first century ensemble by the superlative arranger Mark Masters. And to ice the cake, the ...

Article: Album Review

Mark Masters: Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook

Read "Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Ringraziando il cielo nascono ancora dischi come questo. Opere che evocano gli anni cinquanta, quando il jazz rifletteva un mondo che guardava al futuro con speranza. Un disco retrò dunque? Solo se lo si guarda superficialmente. L'omaggio di Mark Masters al songbook di Alec Wilder con Gary Smulyan protagonista, non è esercizio stilistico o lavoro di ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Steve Fidyk, Joe Magnarelli & Gregory Porter

Read "Steve Fidyk, Joe Magnarelli & Gregory Porter" reviewed by Joe Dimino


There was so much good music that came out in 2020, we are still catching up. The 691st Episode of Neon Jazz begins with veteran drummer Steve Fidyk with music off his new CD Battle Lines. We also look into some quality music from Stephane Spira, Mark Masters, Gregory Porter and Benny Benack III. Finally, we ...

Album

Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook

Label: Capri Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: You’re Free; Don’t Deny; Ellen; Moon and Sand; Baggage Room Blues; I Like It Here; Night Talk; Lovers and Losers; I’ll Be Around.

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Article: Album Review

Vanessa Perica: Love is a Temporary Madness

Read "Love is a Temporary Madness" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Even as the year 2020 has slid ignobly into the dustbin of history, music-lovers have been buoyed by a number of encouraging signs that the future of big-band jazz is in capable hands. While splendid recordings by old hands Mike Barone, Steve Spiegl, Mark Masters and Maria Schneider have helped keep the flame burning brightly, their ...

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Article: Year in Review

Jack Bowers' Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Jack Bowers' Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Given the angst and turmoil of this most unusual year, I wasn't expecting much in terms of quantity or quality of jazz recordings. Surprise! As it turns out, 2020 was a banner year with a large number of superlative albums regularly arriving for review. A dozen of the best I've heard are named here, and the ...


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