|About this Recording
11026-2 - MARK-ALMOND: Night Music
It is said that every cloud has a silver lining, and in the case of the contemporary instrumental label White Cloud, this is not merely metaphor, as Silver Lining is the name of White Cloud's new sub-label.
Conceptually, Silver Lining releases will be more mainstream than White Cloud's releases. The Silver Lining label is for the occasional project release that doesn't necessarily fit the main White Cloud profile.
Appropriately, the first album to be released under the Silver Lining logo is Nightmusic by Mark-Almond, the legendary jazz-rock fusion band that White Cloud's founder Jon Mark pioneered during the 'seventies with saxophonist Johnnie Almond.
Mark and Almond went their separate ways over a decade ago, and Jon Mark swapped the seclusion of Big Sur, California for a new direction as a solo artist based in the Southern Hemisphere, where he has produced a series of stunning melodic instrumental albums and the label White Cloud, which is driven by his musical vision.
Now in 1996, the musical circle is complete with Nightmusic, an album of after hours jazz that reunites the creative Mark-Almond partnership that set a trend in earlier jazz-rock music.
"Nightmusic began as a series of songs that I wanted to record, and evolved into a Mark-Almond album." Jon Mark says. Of the seven album tracks, four are compositions by Mark, while the others Mark co-wrote with New Zealand keyboardist Robert Smith.
Alongside Mark and Smith with Almond's smooth melodic sax, Nightmusic's contributors range among the Southern Hemisphere's finest musicians; there is Rex Goh playing electric guitar, jazz keyboardist Mike Nock, bass players Victor Rounds and Steve Hunter, percussionist Sunil de Silva, and Craig Walters' saxophone losing nothing in comparison to Johnnie Almond's. Supporting Mark's grainy vocals is the sugar and spice vocal combination of Americans Doug Williams and Vanetta Fields, both now living in Australia.
In keeping with Mark's languid, spacious style, most of the tracks are six minutes plus, with the standout 'Skyline' stretching out to almost thirteen minutes of melodic ambient jazz. It all adds up to the kind of beautifully polished and executed album that you'd expect from master craftsmen. Nightmusic is soft and contemplative, lyrical and expressive, eloquent yet understated,- it's perfect night music.
"By stepping deftly between ambience and gentle jazz sounds with discreet touches of soul, this new release from the Mark-Almond band lulls you in warmth, wrap-around sound and soft subtlety." - Graham Reid, Billboard magazine.
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