MARK WINGFIELD

Fusion / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Progressive Big Band / Avant-Garde Jazz • United Kingdom
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Mark is one of the most original and distinctive electric guitarists playing today. His improvising is always compelling, continually inventive and melodically uplifting. His guitar playing is steeped in the language of jazz, with influences such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek as well as rock players such as Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix.

Other often eclectic influences such as Indian, Japanese and African music also feature strongly in Mark’s playing. These influences are fused with jazz and western classical music, and seamlessly integrated into a unique and highly distinctive musical voice. On his CD Fallen Cities, he collaborated with Lebanese singer Samia Afra, and continued his interest in non-western forms, working and performing with Turkish musicians such as Gökhan Özyavuz in Istanbul as well as Zambian musician KT Lumpa.

Mark’s interest in music technology came to the fore when he was asked to join ResRocket, a band
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Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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MARK WINGFIELD Discography

MARK WINGFIELD albums / top albums

MARK WINGFIELD Fallen Cities album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fallen Cities
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2003
MARK WINGFIELD Liquid Maps album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Liquid Maps
Fusion 2005
MARK WINGFIELD Guitar Encryptions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guitar Encryptions
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2006
MARK WINGFIELD Three Windows album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Three Windows
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2009
MARK WINGFIELD Sleeper Street album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Sleeper Street
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2010
MARK WINGFIELD I Walked Into the Silver Darkness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Walked Into the Silver Darkness
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
MARK WINGFIELD Big Band Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Big Band Love Songs
Progressive Big Band 2013
MARK WINGFIELD Proof of Light album cover 3.36 | 4 ratings
Proof of Light
Fusion 2016
MARK WINGFIELD Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis : The Stone House album cover 3.35 | 3 ratings
Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis : The Stone House
Fusion 2016
MARK WINGFIELD Lighthouse album cover 3.67 | 2 ratings
Lighthouse
Fusion 2017
MARK WINGFIELD Tales From The Dreaming City album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tales From The Dreaming City
Fusion 2018

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MARK WINGFIELD Reviews

MARK WINGFIELD Lighthouse

Album · 2017 · Fusion
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kev rowland
Recorded during the same sessions that resulted in the release of the highly critically acclaimed 'Stone House', 'Lighthouse' again finds guitarist Mark Wingfield working with Markus Reuter (touch guitars) and Asaf Sirkis on drums. However, this time they have worked as a trio, so there is no room for bassist Yaron Stavi who appeared on the first album. Recorded in a single day, what we have here are three musicians, all at the very top of their game, who are challenging the preconceived ideas of music, and are bouncing off each other in what must have been an incredibly frenetic and inspiring environment.

Markus most often plays the role of lynch pin, holding the music into some semblance of constraint, while Mark rolls into multiple musical tangents as his fingers and mind wanders, finding their way through the maze of their mind, and then there is Asaf. The man is a multi-joined octopus, who hands and legs obviously do not belong to the same body, and I was intrigued to discover just how many times my attention was being drawn from what many would think was the lead instrument, and was instead marvelling at the complexity and many different styles he was bringing to the party.

This is jazz, it is fusion, it is progressive in its very truest sense, and is totally off the wall. This won't be for everyone, but to my mind and ears there is something incredibly special about this album, where the three of them are improvising both against and with each other, taking their instruments the limit of musicality. A stunning release.

MARK WINGFIELD Lighthouse

Album · 2017 · Fusion
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js
On their previous album, “The Stonehouse”, guitarists Mark Wingfield and Markus Reuter introduced a sort of free form improv approach to jazz fusion that was backed by the rhythm section of Asaf Sirkis on drums and Yaron Stavi on bass. On their new one, “Lighthouse”, they feature a similar musical approach, only this time there is no bass as Wingfield, Reuter and Sirkis wing it as an improvising trio. This smaller bass-less lineup changes the music somewhat as they are now a little less anchored and are able to drift further from their jazz-rock roots and more into free improvisation without a set groove. Whether or not this is an improvement may be a matter of personal preference.

“Lighthouse” opens strong with the rampaging fusion rock of “Zinc”. Although there is no ‘bass’ per se, Reuter’s TouchGuitar provides a massive bottom for Wingfield’s soaring guitar solo. The huge psychedelic sound being served up by only three people is very impressive. Follow up fusion cooker, “Derecho”, keeps the energy flowing until they settle into some ambient drift on “Ghost Light”. This first ambient number works fairly well as Wingfield plays mournful melodies over Reuter’s shifting psychedelic backdrop, but subsequent returns to this sort of atmosphere that appear later on the album don’t have quite the same focus. Track four, “Magnetic”, starts with an abstract jazzy beat and some crackling solos before they settle back into drifting mode, this will continue until they get to the final number. The album closes with the noisy hard rock of “Surge”, which starts strong but never really settles.

The opening four tracks of “Lighthouse” are the best and should appeal to fans of this sort of free form psychedelic fusion, but the later tracks just don’t have the same impact. It’s a bold endeavor for these guys to step up and start flailing away without any set blueprint, there are bound to be some ups and downs

MARK WINGFIELD Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis : The Stone House

Album · 2016 · Fusion
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js
Most jazz fans are well aware of ‘free jazz’, which has, over the years, become quite common, but on “The Stone House”, Mark Wingfield and Markus Reuter bring something a little less frequented, free fusion. There is some precedent for the idea of free jazz rock/fusion to be found in some albums by Sonny Sharrock, Miles’ live Fillmore sessions, early Lifetime with Tony Williams, Larry Young and McLaughlin, as well as in-between-song jam sessions by fusion influenced rockers King Crimson. Still, such improvs are rare, simply because free fusion can be a risky endeavor. Whereas the free jazz musician is welcome to ignore a regular beat or any melodic content, the free fusion musician has a narrower tightrope to walk as most fusion fans expect some kind of groove, as well as some recognizable solo licks and melodies. To this end, much of “Stone House” is a total success as Mark, Marcus and crew come up with jams that are imaginative and free-wheeling, yet often very musical and a real rockin kick to listen to. At their very best, the two guitarists become a dream team of soaring psychedelic fret work, along the lines of what it would have sounded like if Pete Cosey could have teamed up with Robert Fripp. In between the more magical moments, there is the sort of searching that one could expect from a free improvisation like this, but usually it doesn’t take this crew too long to find what they are looking for. It also sounds like there was a certain amount of post jam editing to single out the best moments, but I may be wrong on that.

Opening track “Rush” contains some of the hottest moments, after the band discards a couple of grooves that don’t click. Once they find the right one, they are off for some very exciting psychedelic screaming fusion guitar work, backed by nimble syncopated rhythms from drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Yaron Stavi. The following track plods a bit on a generic rock beat, but number 3, “Silver”, picks up the pace and finds the two guitarists intertwining on some very Frippian intersecting guitar lines. “Fjords de Catalunya” is floating ambient sounds that work really well. Track 5, “Tarasque”, has the band in search mode, followed by some frantic moments, seems the band loses some cohesion on this one. They end the CD strong with “Bona Nit Senor Rovira”, which opens with some intense rocking, followed by more blissful melodic ambience.

There are some really great extended moments on “The Stonehouse”, some of the guitar work is far more imaginative than your average fusion jam, but the listener may also find some moments that find the band in search mode, which is to be expected from a session like this. Overall, a much better CD than I would have expected given the premise it is based on.

MARK WINGFIELD Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis : The Stone House

Album · 2016 · Fusion
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kev rowland
This is one of those real rarities in modern music, an album that was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs and completely improvised, with no rehearsals or agreement beforehand as to where the direction was going to take them. Mark Wingfield (Jane Chapman; solo artist, and one half of the long-running guitar duo, with acoustic maestro, Kevin Kastning) on guitar, and Germany's Markus Reuter (Stick Men; The Crimson ProjeKct; Centrozoon) on touch guitar, they take the limits of their instruments and then just keep going. There are times when it is hard to realise that the sounds are coming from guitars as they are taken into brand new areas of tonal adventures.

On this journey they are accompanied by bassist Yaron Stavi (David Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Robert Wyatt, Richard Galliano) and drummer Asaf Sirkis (Tim Garland, Mark Wingfield, Nicolas Meier), and of all four musicians it was to Asaf that I found my concentartion drawn most frequently. His deft touch on cymbals, and his use of different drums and approaches, often turned the soundscapes of Mark and Markus into the background for him to play against. Yaron keeps the overall sound warm and comforting, removing the sterility that is coming from the guitars.

Fully impovised music is rarely as compelling or interesting as this, as the quartet don’t feel the need to be flashy all the time but often just play and hold notes so that the tune can easily reach a logical conclusion. It is more New Age than jazz, more Brian Eno than John McLaughlin, although there are some feelings of fusion in what they do. This is yet another incredibly important release from Moonjune and Leo, and I look forward to their next endeavours with great interest.

MARK WINGFIELD Proof of Light

Album · 2016 · Fusion
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memowakeman
For the last couple of years I’ve been introduced to the Moonjune Records catalogue, which features amazing musicians & bands from around the world whose music offers high quality in the jazz / rock / experimental scene; music that without a doubt, should expand horizons. One of the latest artists I was introduced to is Mark Wingfield, who in 2014 recorded and released “Proof of Light”, a 9-track album in which Wingfield shares credits with Yaron Stavi on bass, and Asaf Sirkis on drums.

The album opens with “Mars Shaffron”, which shows a nice jazz rock (rockier than jazzier) where guitars put a kind of heavy sound which is complemented by drums and bass. After a minute, the music slows down a bit and now the jazz side is much more evident, Wingfield’s guitar now produces endless different notes, but I can’t say it is a solo, no, it simply gives power to the guitar and let it guide us. I like a lot the use of keyboards as background, and the great bass base during the whole track. All of a sudden, the second song entitled “Restless Mountain” begins. The mood seems to be alike the opener, but in moments it explodes and for a split second becomes heavier and faster, however, it always returns to a mid-tempo rhythm where guitar stands out. In moments, drums also explode and give us entertaining passages.

I am not sure if this might enter into the fusion realm, I would say no, I would describe it more like experimental jazz, maybe avant-garde where guitars are the main act, but are wonderfully complemented by bass, drums and keyboards. Honestly, it took me at least three listens to dig the album and found its pure beauty, which can be perceived in “The Way to Etretat”, a beautiful 7-minute song. It is a melodic tune, quite dreamy in moments, where bass delights us with a solo while drums are constant and in the right place.

The names of Allan Holdsworth or John Abercrombie might come to your head in some moments, I think Wingfield’s guitar sound has some reminiscences of those legendary guitar players, though of course, Mark produces his own and particular style. “A Conversation we Had” is the next track. Let me tell you that the album itself is like “a conversation”, because the style is pretty similar in all the songs, of course there are highs and lows, there are changes, but it has a unique essence; it is like having a 53-minute conversation with Mark Wingfield.

What I cannot deny, is that my enthusiasm towards that conversation was not in the same level during those 53 minutes; there were moments where I felt a bit bored (sorry, I can’t lie) and was expecting a surprise, something really different to light me up. “A Thousand Faces” is the shortest track, here the guitar makes constant soft changes, but in the end, I could not find the thousand faces after all.

On the other hand, “Voltaic” is the longest composition, the most powerful and my favorite of the album. Since the very first second we listen to an explosive sound, heavier tunes, fast moments, dramatic turbulences covered by a sensual jazz atmosphere. After a minute, it slows down, the wind blows and a kind of tense and doubting passage appears. I am not sure if this was an improvisation or a true composition, because the musicians seem to be free, seem to be enjoying their brief craziness. “Summer’s Night Story” has a juicy in moments delicious sound, but I sometimes feel Wingfield and the guys could add more power to the music, which is gentle and soft, but lacks of a persuasive element that make you feel caught and with no exit. I mean, it is not difficult to be distracted by another non-album sound, it is not difficult to skip the song, and it is too difficult to remember it.

Of course, this album and its songs are not memorable song, I think that is not the aim, but I would have loved to find that element that made me think of it as a unique release, as a work or art. “Koromo’s Tale” is a soft piece that starts with bass playing the main role, while drums and guitars produced softer sounds. Despite the bass is what most caught my attention here, it is evident that Wingfiled’s guitar is the official album’s guide. Finally, “Proof of Light” is another great song, one of the two or three I really loved. It is evident that to my likes, I prefer more the faster-heavier-rockier moments, and this last song is one of them.

A very good album, it is something different, nothing to do with the regular jazz album, which is great because it means the artist has something diverse to tell; however, I am not a devoted, and can’t qualify this album as a memorable one.

Enjoy it!

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