GABRIEL MARK HASSELBACH – MID CENTURY MODERN, VOL. 1
Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, trumpet/flute/flugelhorn/valve ‘bone/vocals; Miles Black, piano; Laurence Mollerup, bass; Joel Fountain, drums; Ernie Watts & Cory Weeds, tenor saxophone; Mike Taylor, vocals; Olaf deShield, guitar.
Once again, Gabriel Mark Hasselbach has produced an album of fine jazz, combining the straight-ahead style with modern jazz and what he refers to as Mid-Century music, all woven together like the lovely, colorful threads of a Canadian poncho. You can wrap yourself up in his music and feel warm and satisfied.
There is a beautiful vocal on “Nature Boy” sung by Mike Taylor. His voice is smooth and sweet as warmed caramel candy. It was a nice surprise to hear a vocal on Hasselbach’s normally all instrumental project.
The third tune, “Blues on My Mind,” features Cory Weeds on tenor saxophone. He swings hard, along with pianist Miles Black. This tune moves from a moderate blues into a straight-ahead double-time tempo. There’s a horn refrain that harmonically pulls the piece together, as a comfortable reference point throughout. “Terra Firma Irma” is another one of my favorite compositions on this album and it features the great Ernie Watts on tenor saxophone. However, it’s the fiery Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, on trumpet, (sometimes flute), that brings this project to a boil. He keeps the music alive and swinging throughout. Hasselbach always manages to insert bold funk and lovely melodies into productions that make you want to dance, sing and swing.