MARK WINGFIELD — Lighthouse (review)

MARK WINGFIELD — Lighthouse album cover Album · 2017 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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
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