Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Mark Wade Trio - Moving Day (EDITION 46 RECORDS 2018)

Although solidly within the time-honored tradition of piano-bass-drums jazz trios, Event Horizon, the Mark Wade Trio’s 2015 debut recording, was quickly heralded as something refreshingly different.

Down Beat critic John Ephland called the CD “as interesting in form as it is with pure expression, the nooks and crannies evidence that a real group-mind is at work.” “All three musicians,” Jeffrey Uhrich said of bassist-composer Wade, pianist Tim Harrison, and drummer Scott Neumann in his review for All About Jazz, “are tuned into one another, listening and asserting their individuality when the moment is right, yet maintaining an energetic unity and balance throughout the disc.” The success of Event Horizon landed Wade a spot as one of the top 10 bassists of 2016 in the Down Beat Readers’ Poll.

In the short months between the recording of Event Horizon and its February 2015 release, Wade began writing some of the seven harmonically-and-rhythmically challenging original tunes, as well as unique arrangements of two standards, that now comprise Moving Day, the trio’s follow-up CD. The warm reception by radio, press, and the public that greeted the first disc helped the three musicians secure more club and concert engagements than ever before, giving them numerous opportunities to further cultivate their already tight, seemingly telepathic interplay.

“We’ve had a chance to develop a sound and identity and an understanding of one another as an ensemble,” the leader says. “We had some of that with the first CD, but for this CD three years later it shows that we’ve really formed some strong chemistry together. By the time we got to the recording session, we had been playing some of these tunes live in front of audiences a number of times.” 

With the exception of “In the Fading Rays of Sunlight,” the gentle waltz that closes Moving Day, all of the selections utilize frequent meter changes. These shifts of meter are not immediately obvious, however, due to the way Wade, Harrison, and Neumann keep their performances flowing so perfectly.

“There’s not too many tunes that don’t have at least one or two meter changes,” Wade says. “It wasn’t my intention to do that. It was just kinda the way the music worked out.”

“Some people’s approach to modern jazz can be derivative in that they’re going to have every measure in a different time signature to try to make it sound as disjointed as they can,” he adds.

“There’s a certain time and place for that, but my personal writing style is to try for you not to notice that.”

1. Moving Day
2. Wide Open
3. The Bells
4. Another Night in Tunisia
5. Something of a Romance
6. Autumn Leaves
7. Midnight in the Cathedral
8. The Quarter
9. In the Fading Rays of Sunlight

Mark Wade - Doublebass
Tim Harrison - Piano
Scott Neumann - Drums