Thursday, June 21, 2018

Astral Traveling with Mark Wingfield on his "Tales from the Dreaming City"

Mark Wingfield : Tales from the Dreaming City MoonJune MRJ091

The British guitarist Mark Wingfield is new to me, but having grown up in the era of fusion, a genre that has been wrongfully denigrated by some jazz purists, I can still appreciate a man with a potent axe and the chops to make it sing the song electric. Wingfield certainly has those credentials and more. 

On his latest recording, Tales from the Dreaming City, produced by die-hard world fusionist producer Leonardo Pavkovic’s MoonJune records, Winfield takes you on a journey that is nothing short of teleportation or Astral traveling. He scrambles your atoms and reassembles them in a place that only he can see, a totally foreign environ. He is joined by bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer Asaaf Sirkis with special guest Dominque Vantomme adding some synthesizer magic.

The music is like the soundtrack to a space odyssey. With titles like “The Fifth Window,” “I Wonder How Many Miles I’ve Fallen,” “This Place Up Against the Sky” and “The Green-faced Timekeepers” you can kind of get where this man’s mind is at.

Wingfield doesn’t play much like any other guitarist I’ve heard, and that’s not an easy feat in and of  itself. His instrument sings in a language that is almost alien, extraterrestrial, but with an underlying humanity to it.  The songs are not so much melodies as they are aural constructions meant to take you into another dimension or across the time/space continuum.  The group pulses, moans, paces metronomically and roils in sympathetic, almost telepathic communion with their leader’s explorations. 

This music is not for everyone, but you’d be hard pressed not to admire the daring and complete immersion this musician and his bandmates have made into the unknown. The music can sometimes take on an almost dark, foreboding sound to it, but for the most part it is uplifting, piercing the glass ceiling of what it means to make traditional music.
My suggestion is to get yourself a copy of Tales from the Dreaming City and a pair of headphones and sit back and chew on this a while. It will either lose you completely or perhaps if your lucky transport you to another place, a place that suspends time and feels like the outer limits of our reality.

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