Friday, April 30, 2004

Grant for new viola piece

Found out today that the Australia & New Zealand Viola Society have been awarded a grant by the Australia Council to commission a viola work from me. Thank you Australia Council! Since I am already writing a viola piece for Debbie Lander, I might be able to combine them into the one piece.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Baltic Riviera

Pärnu, Estonia, where I play July 7 as part of my international tour is on the Baltic Riviera. This should be an amazing gig in an amazing location. We're staying and playing at the Ammende Villa which is built in Russian Art Nouveau style.

CD Review in The Age

Very nice review of my new CD in The Age today. Soon I'll post a roundup of the best comments from the Australian press. There's previously been some very positive reactions from the Financial Review, The Australian, Canberra Times, The Bulletin, Sunday Herald Sun, Rhythms Magazine and a Sydney Morning Herald and Limelight Magazine review should hopefully appear before too long.

Korean TV appearance

Just heard that on the Korean leg of my July international tour I will be making a June 29 appearance on KBS (national South Korean TV network) on a program called Classic Odyssey. I'll be playing some solo piano classical and jazz pieces and doing an interview with the show's host.


Great night at the Hyde Park Bar. James Muller dropped in. Elana Stone rocks.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Recording a new jazz CD

I haven't quite finalised things so will spare the details for the moment, but it seems certain I will be in the studio early June recording a new jazz CD. This one will be quite different from my recent jazz release, it will feature original tunes rather than standards and will be a larger group than a trio. More along the lines of my 2000 release Closer. I plan to have the new one mixed before I go overseas in July, it will be good to have in the suitcase as a calling card. On that note, I plan to return from Europe via the States, and though I may not end up performing there it will be a valuable chance to renew contacts and make new ones.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Hyde Park Bar, Wednesday April 28

This coming Wednesday April 28 I'll be playing at a new Sydney CBD jazz venue the Hyde Park Bar, located at the corner of Park Street and Elizabeth Street, starting at 8:30pm. I'm delighted that my new trio are available to join me, that is Ben Waples (bass) and Felix Bloxsom (drums), this is the band with whom I recently completed an extensive Australian tour. Hope to see Sydney folk there!

UPDATE: Wonderful vocalist Elana Stone will join us for a couple of numbers as special guest at this gig. Unfortunately this will be the last Wednesday in the jazz program at the Hyde Park Bar, please note that there is no cover charge so do please support the gig and the venue!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

July 2004 International Tour

My July international tour is coming together, including my first visit to the Baltic States. I'll be playing July 2-4 in Riga, Latvia at the RigasRitmi Festival. In a new collaboration I'll be performing there with American drummer Brian Melvin, who played and recorded with electric bass legend Jaco Pastorius. Brian currently plays with some of the cream US jazz players like David Kikoski and Larry Grenadier so I'm looking forward to playing with him. After Riga Brian and I and Estonian bassist Toivo Unt will play on July 7 in Pärnu, Estonia which is referred to as the Estonian "summer capital", should be very exciting and different. We're also going to play in Finland and other places. On the way to Europe I will stop in Seoul, Korea and do some concerts and television appearances being arranged for me by a major jazz promoter there. As always, I'm trying to add other dates in, maybe Russia, maybe Germany, will post again as new dates come up.

Violist Deborah Lander

I'm very much looking forward to my upcoming project with violist Deborah Lander. Debbie is a very distinguished Australian viola player who for many years was a member of the internationally-renowned Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra. I am writing a new piece for viola and piano that Debbie has commissioned especially from me. I will record the piece with her for her new CD of Australian music for viola. Debbie has asked me to be the producer for the CD which will also feature works by Australian composers Elena Kats-Chernin and Nigel Westlake amongst others. Debbie and I also plan to do a recital later in the year that will include the new piece along with a Brahms sonata and other works.

UPDATE: Recordings for the CD commenced on Thursday April 22

Keeping the Standards reviews

My new jazz CD Keeping the Standards recorded live at The Basement, Sydney with the New York rhythm section of Jay Anderson (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums) has been getting some great reviews around the country. I'm still waiting for a couple more major reviews to appear and then I'll post a selection of quotes. Meanwhile, you can get a CD online here

Australian Tour

Photo of the trio in Devonport, Tasmania

The year started with a national tour by my Australian trio to promote my new CD Keeping the Standards. In 15 concerts we visited all the States and Territories of Australia, including places I have never played before like Darwin. I toured with a wonderful team, Ben Waples (bass) and Felix Bloxsom (drums) both more than 20 years my junior! We did a lot of flying around the country but also some long drives from Sydney in a hired van to places like Bellingen and Armidale. Some nice reviews from the tour:
"The Mark Isaacs Trio showed that it is without peer in Australia on
standards of the jazz repertoire"
Messiaen-like chord voicings or effortlessly tossing off blistering bop
lines .
. . Isaacs’s beautifully conceived improvisations”


This is a new section of my website where I'll be posting news. First I'll catch up with a summary of what's been happening this year, and from there I'll make regular posts with news whether I'm at home or on the road.

Watch this space!