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Mark Wingfield — The Gathering
(Moonjune MJR131, 2024, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2024-05-08

The Gathering Cover art

One of the things Moonjune Records is known for is putting together superb groups of musicians who do not represent a standing group — sometimes for improvisational sessions and sometimes to perform the compositions of one or another of the participants. The Gathering is one of the latter, a set of ten tracks under the leadership of guitarist Mark Wingfield with Asaf Sirkis on drums and Gary Husband on keyboards; the bass chair is filled by Tony Levin on six tracks and Percy Jones on four. In addition, Husband acts as a second drummer on three tracks. With the exception of the bass parts, which were recorded separately, the music was recorded at La Casa Mirada in Spain. It should probably come as no surprise that The Gathering is one of the best Moonjune releases, fitting securely into the top rank of elite company. These superb musicians could probably make just about any composition sound good, but Wingfield’s writing brings out the best in them, full of harmonic interest and unexpected twists. This is definitely not a case where anyone will say, “He’s a great guitarist, but his best work is playing other people’s music.” Wingfield’s compositional imagination matches his technique, and he is certainly a guitarist whose style is instantly recognizable. Sirkis is outstanding on drums, as usual, and he and Husband manage the tricky job of playing together and not making a mess. In fact, “Apparition in the Vaults” is one of my favorites, and in addition to the dual drummers, it features some killer bass work from Levin. The tunes with Jones on bass are also great, with his unmistakable fretless singing out over Sirkis’s tasty rhythms. Husband’s keys provide just the right tones and atmospheres to complement the rest of the band. The album is a complete winner from start to finish, and will remain in my frequent playlist for the foreseeable future.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Mark Wingfield, Percy Jones, Gary Husband, Asaf Sirkis

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