Mark Adams - Asceticism a portrait of Jazz



Asceticism? What a peculiar word for such exquisiteness like a Smooth Jazz album. Mark Adams doesn't even take this title probably seriously, cause we see him on a photo laughing, taking a seat and drinking a glass of red wine. Mark is one of these independant artists, which have already played with great musicians like Roy Ayers, Hugh Masekela, Noel Pointer, Tom Browne, Ronnie Laws and Angela Bofill. This led to opening for Tito Puente and Roberta Flack at the JVC Jazz Festival in 1991at Carnegie Hall. Mark is the keyboardist and pianist on four albums of Roy Ayers: “Live in Berlin”, “Good Vibrations”, “NASTE”, and “Spoken Word.” 

In 2001 Mark produced his debut album showing his great talents. The album starts with Der Grüne Mann (the green man). The theme is first played on piano with nice bridges played on sythesizer. Mark comments: "In Germany, a green man represents the traffic signal for walk and symbolically this track gives the signal for beginning a totally fresh musical experience."

The following track Song For My Mother starts with a classical fugue changing its character straight to a Smooth Jazz tune. Anew Mark impresses with his skills and prestidigitation.

Colors showcases Ken Admas' wonderful flute and piccolo play. Also magnificient Dominique Kanza on guitar. This piece has a broad orchestral background. Responsible for the string arrangement is Dave Ernst.

Good potential for a single has Free For Freedom with Dave Jones phat bass groove and Mark Adams accentuated piano play. I love these piano runnings.

Free Day is a slow theme in the mood of Careless Whisper. Mark Adams has a weakness for keyboard sounds like calliopead and synthbones. The only shadow is the too quick fadeout of some tunes.

Adams Apple is an uptempo funky tune with a strong sax part. Casey Benjamin is the hero on alto saxophone.

If you await that Remembering Breaux is a guitar song, you are wrong. This memorial for the great guitar player Zachary Breaux is solely played in by keyboards.

Seeing In The Dark is a sparkle of loud tones and instuments, dominated by Casey Benjamin's alto sax. 

Asceticism means abstemiousness and moderation, temperance and sobriety. In this case we have to search for it in vain. Mark Adams keyboard play is voluptously.

Reggae mood is the invitation to the Club Carib. For Mark its the starting spot for a broad piano improvisation.

Jazz That Funk is starting with a remarkable allusion of an early funk tune (GAP Band?)  guiding to Mark's fusionesque piano style.

On his final tune Work Song (Remix) Mark uses the opportunity to proof anew his master-like abilities on piano and keyboards.

Mark Adams is a raw diamond. His debut album raises the anticipation of a great career. Selling instrumental music is nowadays a difficult business. But with his abilities it might be a little bit easier.

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