Back to Bach
Improvisations on 9 of J.S. Bach's preludes in a jazz trio format. John's unique approach to playing Bach has been described as exhilirating, exciting and deeply moving.
Fractal Blue is an eclectic, exhilirating collection of original compositions
by John Mackay. The music encompasses many influences from the worlds
of jazz (traditional and contemporary), rock, latin, chant and more,
without ever sacrificing the sophisticated lyricism that pervades
Mackay's music. Vocals are used sparingly but effectively.
Dawise MacQ is a contemporary jazz quartet led by John Mackay. The
musicians are amongst the best in the business, having collectively
played with more well-known acts than we could possibly list here,
ie. Cab Calloway, John McLaughlin, Stan Kenton, Stanley Jordan, Bob
This wonderfully expressive session from Novato, California
based pianist John Mackay is evidence that the future of the Jazz
piano trio is secure. Mackay is a thoughtful, introspective colorist
who carefully paces his improvisations to logical and peaceful resolutions.
There's nothing bombastic about this musical aesthetic. . . . a suite
of highly cohesive solos, each bearing a marked focal point or climax.
A singing, orchestral approach to the piano is favored throughout,
and the leader wisely recognizes the value of simplicity in melodic
One is not likely to hear more personal interpretations of the familiar
Bye Bye Blackbird,
and the Night and the Music, each of which is masterfully
reharmonized. Mackay's challenging
Psychotic Dance Moves is a gem, a fascinating exploration
of polyrhythms and group dynamics.
Peaced Heart and Often Grin is a refreshing example
of musical form at the service of content.
few jazz composers in the latter part of the 20th century created
a body of work that could be considered jazz standards, as a continuation
of the jazz standards repertoire begun by composers like Ellington,
Gershwin, Porter and others from that era, leading up to the 1960's
through individuals like Bud Powell, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane
and Horace Sliver, among others. But Wayne Shorter and herbie Hancock
(especially Wayne) accomplished that feat. Most likely, not a moment
goes by on any given day when one of these men's pieces is not being
played somewhere by somebody.
So in thanks to these two inspired musicians who helped, in their
own unique and respective ways to further the jazz repertoire and
guide jazz music into the 21st century, I express my appreciation
through my own interpretations of a few of their many compositions.
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