Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hobart sojourn

I'm writing from freezing Hobart, Tasmania - a great town (oysters!). Tonight (Thursday July 27) and tomorrow night (Friday July 28) I'm playing at Lizbon with the excellent local rhythm section of Nigel Hope (bass) and Steve Marskell (drums). 10pm both nights. I had a nice feature article this morning in the Hobart Mercury followed by a live interview and performance on local ABC radio. I'm also here as on Sunday players from the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra will play my 1985 jazz-inflected chamber music composition So It Does at Federation Concert Hall. I'm going to attend rehearsals and the concert which goes out live nationally on ABC Classic FM at 3pm this Sunday July 30 or you can listen on the internet here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Visions comments

My February 2006 CD release Visions has received some very nice press. The album is [currently] one of the two CDs of the week at the USA website jazzreview with a great review here. Visions and my previous release Keeping the Standards are available from Vorticity Music.

"Visions offers vision…..(Isaacs) has created his own statement of inner peace reinforced by the music he sees with insight and fondness" JAZZREVIEW (USA)

"Add Australian-based Mark Isaacs to the list of artists who are reinventing contemporary song……Isaacs has proved in the past that he's got chops to burn. With Visions, however, he prefers to let the music speak in a more delicate and sometimes elusive fashion, remaining faithful and proving that contemporary song is just as open to interpretation as the often-overworked Great American Songbook" ALL ABOUT JAZZ (USA)

"achingly tender interpretations . . . . Those who are blessedly young will be privileged to discover for themselves the beauty of a time when songs were crafted rather than flung at the audience, here presented on a cushion of dreams by three musicians in seamless accord" CANBERRA TIMES

"[Isaacs] revisits a time long yearned for and seemingly adrift to today's insecure and loveless world . . . a flawless and musical technique merged with deceptive resolutions and treated with jazz introspection . . .such a clean album; nothing is superfluous or unnecessary. Every note and tone means something; each musical thought leads to a musical world. This is perfect jazz but not so pure that it lacks soul and spirit . . . an album of assurance, deep reflection and poise. It is a stage of full development, lush with resolution and solidity. And amongst such steadfastness, we find profound courage and wells of potency" JAZZ QUEENSLAND

"Mark Isaacs's strengths are his lyrical eloquence and ability to transport the listener to unexpected places . . . an incantation that goes right through you" THE AGE

"Mark Isaacs does it right, enriching the evocative nature of pieces such as Both Sides Now, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Moon River, Fool on the Hill and Sounds of Silence and simultaneously placing his soulful feel on proceedings . . . makes the album's many touches of bluesy funk -- reminiscent of Ramsey Lewis -- all the more appealing" SUNDAY HERALD SUN

"[Isaacs], bassist Ben Waples and drummer James Hauptmann almost suggest three-part harmony vocals in their realisations . . . this has a charm all its own" SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"Isaacs has the ability to contrast a delicate touch with a tumultuous attack within a bar of music . . never fails to deliver"

"particularly evocative reworkings . . . a powerfully engaging restatement . . . tight and effortless . . even the casual listener will delight in his many distinctive voicings and fine touch . . Visions is a welcome and recommended addition to modern piano jazz" JAZZ AUSTRALIA

“Music of loveliness, invention, naturalness and grace. His playing is a model of grace and lyricism of the highest order….What an album!” 2MBS-FM “Fine Music” Magazine