19 March 2023


It's thanks to Covid that we have this album and this CD launch at the Drill Hall Gallery.  Mark Ginsberg and Ryan Grogan had worked together before but Covid brought the two to collaborate at a distance and ultimately this recording was born and this tour performed.  They recorded with Fabian Hevia and Brett Hirst and Brendan Clarke played this tour.  It's beautiful, contemplative music made up of frequently complex harmony and lovely, expressive melody, often played in unison on bass and sax or even bass and piano with an emerging sax, but perhaps the defining approach, expressed several times by  Mark, was the use of a percussion rather than drum kit for rhythm underlay, so we had cymbals and cajons and bells (I was entranced by one that rang forever and was gloriously clear) but not the push of kick or accent of snare, so the percussion just interweaved with the music and, again as Mark suggested, we the audience had to place the beat.  Well, yes, it was softer and Fabian is a wonder with mind-bogglingly complex interleavings and polyrhythms, but there was rhythm throughout and I thought it was clear for all.  Ryan mentioned later that their music also appeals to classical listeners, and I can see that.  This was not bop even if some melodies and even the lineup was somewhat in this space.  Mark even asked about the genre.  I dunno, but it was jazz and it wasn't at all like the tune they played in honour of Wayne Shorter.  Mark also mentioned the pleasure of playing the tunes daily even if not all aspects of touring are so pleasant.  I understand.  Their arrival here was to a small, integrated jazz world, if to a soft space which felt quite loud to my ears with only one (bass) amp.  But that's the Drill Hall.  It made for a unified if soft sound.  Otherwise, this was a great pleasure, wonderful reflective music, some fabulous playing and a warm atmosphere.  I loved this.

Mark Ginsburg (soprano, tenor) and Ryan Grogan (piano) launched their CD Oceans together at the Drill Hall Gallery.  Also on the album were Brett Hirst (bass) and Fabian Hevia (percussion).  Brendan Clarke (bass) replaced BH for the tour and this concert.

1 comment:

Kindermann said...

A lovely gig. I really liked the lack of PA. The raw sound of the instruments in the hands of masters and in that resonant space was, to my ears, magic.