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Mark Wingfield - Tales From The Dreaming City CD (album) cover


Mark Wingfield

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Review originally posted in

What an amazing album!

Well, it's been a great journey since I was invited to discover Moonjune's family, it's been pleasant to know low- profile musicians from around the world whose talent is huge, and even more pleasant to see those musicians playing in each other's records, just as it happens here in this superb Mark Wingfield album, who is supported by Yaron Stavi on bass and Asaf Sirkis on drums, along with Dominique Vantomme as a guest synth player in some tracks.

My previous Wingfield's experiences have always given me good moments, starting with 'Proof of Light' and the improv collaborations with Reuter, Sirkis and Stavi, this British axe-man is something serious, he has a personal touch that brings the listener delicious and innovative sounds that can be perceived on this 10-song album full of different realms such as jazz, prog and rock. The beauty starts since the very first second of 'The Fifth Window', with a jazzy and experimental guitar that sometimes cries and sometimes invents some odd tones that are amazingly complemented by the Stavi-Sirkis fort, musicians that are not only professional, but friends, and believe me, this great friendship has given really positive results.

'I Wonder How Many Times I've Fallen' has a darker sound, I even perceive a kind of mid-eastern sound as background. The musicians develop solid arrangements and all of them show their huge talent and understanding. After minute two there is a pause, a kind of dramatic moment where Stavi's fretless takes the wheel and then they re-start the trip. Two minutes later is Sirkis who stands with amazing drums, letting us know that the 3 are equally important. 'The Way to Hemingford Grey' is another wonderfully crafted piece that shares a diversity of colors and emotions. I like how it powerfully starts and then calms down, changing the direction and returning, changing and returning once again. It is a great trip, yeah!

'Sunlight Cafe' keeps surprising us with Wingfield's style, man, it is really great to listen to his amazing tones, melodic but challenging, I don't listen to someone doing this very often, to be honest. The complexity of the songs don't really give you catchy moments, however, I am sure there are passages you will easily remember. 'Looking Back at the Ambert Lit House' is a soft and delicate track that features a delicious synth solo by Dominique Vantomme, it is great to listen to his keys because they add atmospheres that does not harm at all the work of the band, in fact, is a very positive complement. I love Sirkis' solos during the album, he can be heavier but refined, an authentic maestro.

The great journey continues with 'This Place Up Against the Sky' in which the band return with various changes that share a plethora of nuances and textures, the sound is simply captivating, delicious, amazing to see the three guys playing different roads but sticking together as one. The song makes a sudden stop at minute 5 and vanishes with a mysterious sound. Then, some steps can be heard, meaning we are now listening to 'At a Small Hour of the Night'. Soundscapes can be appreciated here, reminding me a bit of some Crimsonian textures. The track's development is slow, again mysterious and even relaxing if you ask me, however, it might be a bit difficult to feel embraced, at least in the first listen (it happened to me). By the way, this is the only track of the album whose credits are not by Wingfield alone, but by the 3 sirs.

'A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane' returns to the let's say classic sound of the trio in a comprised way, I mean, this is the shortest composition but the sound and the musicianship is always rich and captivating. With 'Ten Mile Bank' an emotional sound appears, guiding our senses to a new exciting journey. Open you ears and soul, and I bet you will feel enchanted but this track's charm, that includes once again, a wonderful collaboration by Vantomme.

The album finishes with 'The Green-Faced Timekeepers' which to my ears could work as a movie soundtrack. The musicianship is outstanding once again, and in the end they surprise us with the only vocals on the album. Great! Wingfield's style is one-of-a-kind and I feel fortunate to have been introduced to it. Spectacular album that you should not miss!

Report this review (#2121295)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Mark Wingfield is considered Allan Holdsworth's heir. He shows a huge number of collaborations and various albums, produced by Moon June Records, a house strongly jazz fusion oriented which produced, among the others, part of Holdsworth's discography.

Wingfield's musical compositions are a bit avant garde and were studied in Contemporary Music Department of Goldsmith College in London.

When you listen to this work, you immediately notice that Wingfield's style is far different from Holdsworth's one. Wingfield has an acid timbre and uses a lot of high strident notes, which were never used by Holdsworth, who was more warm and melodic. But in the phrases we can find some analogies, mostly in the more intimate songs as "Loking Back at The Amber Lit House", even if there are less powerchords than in Hodlsworth compositions.

Wingfield is assisted by proficient musicians as Asaf Sirkis on Drums, Dominique Vantomme on synth and Yaron Stavi on bass, but in this work he leaves only a little space to his musicians, who create a comfortable carpet of sound where he can express his music.

The entire album is pervaded by a mood of anxiety, fear, uneasiness and melancholic onirical sceneries. Rarely there's a ray of light, and if... it's almost that unfamiliar one which forces you to the awakening.

The album is generally very impressive, but not quite easy to approach. Reccomended to lovers who like to deepen in not usual sounds and harmonizations, however highly fascinating!

Report this review (#2284149)
Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2019 | Review Permalink

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