True Stories - A New Album From Mark Wade.
I’m always delighted to hear there’s a new Mark Wade album about to arrive. With True Stories he is back with the Trio and ready to inspire and be inspired.
‘I Feel More Like I Do Now’ sets the tone of the album and gets off to a cracking start. The interplay between Mark on bass, pianist Tim Harrison and drummer Scott Neumann has moved up a level since their last release, Moving Day. There is plenty of dancing going on, but one is stepping on anyone’s toes, but.
A theme running through True Stories is Mark’s willingness to take great material from others and, rather than play a straight cover, to weave in his own music and produce something entirely new. New Jersey’s own, Wayne Shorter, lends his musical spirit. It appears throughout the album. Shorter was in Miles Davis’ second great quintet that inspired the opening track. His tunes, Dolores and Fall are integrated into ‘Falling Delores,’ along with Mark’s own music, and ‘In the Market’ is influenced by Weather Report, which Shorter co-lead.
As a huge Weather Report fan I was thrilled to hear a familiar theme at the opening of ‘In the Market’. True to form, the trio takes Black Market and uses it as a launching pad for their own sound, mixing in themes from other classic Weather Report tunes as they do. This track will, I’m certain, be a favourite at live gigs.
A Simple Song pays tribute to the much-missed pianist, composer and teacher, Frank Kimbrough. The trio tell a story through their music and delivery here. For me it conjures up pictures of Frank enjoying one of his long walks through the city while talking and exploring.
A burst of arco playing starts ‘Song with Orange & Other Things – Parts 1 and 2’ and it grabs the ear. There’s a swift return to pizzicato, and what lyrical playing it is. In the second half of the tune we are deeply in Mingus territory and you can almost hear the great man nodding his approval. Then ‘At the Sunside’ swings the album to a joyful close. A sprightly road movie in a tune.
A worthy successor to his previous releases, True Stories delivers you into the best seat of an acoustically sound jazz club and makes you want to hear more. It introduces you to characters, reminds you of why you love this music and tells you meaningful, and true, stories.
You can get more information at Mark Wade's website, here.