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Mark Wingfield - Mark Wingfield & Gary Husband: Tor & Vale CD (album) cover


Mark Wingfield


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.95 | 2 ratings

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4 stars Review originally posted at

This recent Moonjune release is a delicious journey to two virtuoso's minds, two great musicians that decided to show their compatibility and put it on a record. This is also an example of the label's essence: music without boundaries. Moonjune Records has managed to find top-notch musicians from all over the world whose creativity had to be discovered by curious minds.

Though the name of Gary Husband takes us to other names such as McLaughlin or Holdsworth, I have to say that the name of Mark Winkfield takes me immediately to the previously mentioned label. This guitar player is so exquisite, I can tell by all the works I already know, and this time, it is great to know he has teamed up with Husband, and just as I expected, the result was quite satisfactory.

'Tor & Vale' is the name of this album, a long expedition into both players deepest connections. It is a place where they could improvise, float and flow, where the experimentation is always present, full of textures and nuances, a work that can be truly enchanting if you allow it. This realm consists of 8 tracks, 5 of them are Wingfield's compositions, while the other 3, improvs.

Don't expect heavy or fast music here, their virtuosity is not of that kind, here they create countless passages that work as conversations, both players talk, discuss, become tense, make peace, and restart again. A wonderful carousel in which we all would want to be part of. We can appreciate how good chemistry they have while listening to 'Kittiwake', the opener track, while in 'The Golden Thread' the freedom they have is quite evident, it is like being with someone you blindly trust, make plans and achieve goals.

It is important to be intuitive and let the talent flow, something we can appreciate in 'Night Song', a short track where Wingfield's guitar explores and experiments guided by Husband's notes and silences. But there is an epic moment here: 'To & Vale', the title track, a 16-minute improvisation that, if they wanted, could have lasted longer, I think. Though Husband's piano work is much appreciated in the jazz realm, here we can take notice of his wide musical elements, he is such a big player who plays not only with hands, but with soul, spirit and heart. In this long track we are taken into a deep trip, just like life, some bright moments, some dark passages, and even some doubtful ones.

'Shape of Light' is a beautiful track, one of my favorites, but let me say something important, it is required to be in a place where noises disappear, that perfect place is called headphones, however, you could also listen in a nice room far from street noises, so you can better appreciate the charm of the music. But another great thing is how they can change the atmospheres from one track to another, it can be noticed while listening to the 'Tryfan', a quite progressive song that will make you go from jazz to avant-garde, there is even a tango-esque passage on there, to my ears.

The long journey continues with another long improv: 'Silver Sky', another piece that shows how the couple is still in love, still having a conversation and putting the instruments in an intimate mood. It is not a secret they enjoy what they do and enjoy how the person next to them does. Finally, 'Vaquita' waves goodbye to us, but not after producing our final smiles.

An excellent album, but it might be not easy to dig at first, so be open minded, make sure you've got the best conditions surrounding you and enjoy it.

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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