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Award-winning hornmeister Gabriel Mark Hasselbach aims for a jazz trifecta with his new album MidCentury Modern Vol. 1, a decidedly mainstream jazz juggernaut.
Gabriel is a bit of an enigma, in that his lexicon is not limited to one style of jazz, nor one instrument. He plays trumpet, flute, flugelhorn, valve 'bone, and more. If you are a mainstream jazz lover, you would know Gabriel from his two mainstream JazzWeek charting albums, including Come Out Swingin', which included the debut of a young Michael Bublé, actually singing great jazz before his rise. Contemporary Jazz lovers will have heard many of his ubiquitous nine Billboard hits from a dozen albums, and know of his Album of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year awards.
To drive that mainstream message home, here he has enlisted iconic colleagues such as Ernie Watts, Cory Weeds, Miles Black, and Canada's answer to Gregory Porter, Mike Taylor, to craft a highly listenable project, that incorporates hard-swinging mainstream jazz sensibilities, a little succinct contemporary jazz clarity, and some rollicking New Orleans jazz panache. Trifecta accomplished!
Gabriel debuted this album in New Orleans during the New Orleans Jazz Fest, at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
He continued his tour in Canada and the US for other dates.
The lead-off track Mississippi Jump, a remake of a Blue Mitchell classic, jumps hard like a 'sidewinder' but has also been remixed for Contemporary radio and is included as a bonus track. As the Jazz Crusaders once said, "Put it where you want it"!
Gabriel has performed at Montreux, North Sea, JVC, Chandler, and other festivals. He has performed in Japan and in Singapore (for the President!), and even in the home of Bill Gates. He has worked with artists such as Larry Coryell, George Benson, Chuck Loeb, Bob James, Brian Bromberg, Jeff Lorber, Warren Hill, Bob Baldwin, Cal Harris, and Paul Brown to name a few.
Gabriel has the chops for authentic mainstream fare, but also loves a funky groove (60's soul jazz influences), and incorporates them effortlessly into a punchy and seamless stage show, brimming with lyricism, color, and texture. His influences range from underserved classic artists like Blue Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Joe Gordon, to icons such as Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and Chet Baker.
This is what the critics say about Gabriel's releases: MIDCENTURY MODERN, VOL. 1 (2018)
I just had a chance to listen to Gabriel Mark Hasselbach’s album “MidCentury Modern Vol. 1” and was astonished by all the great playing and great production values. Whether playing on a swing or funk tune, his great tone and impeccable phrasing comes through every time, like liquid gold. My favourite tracks are Mississippi Jump, Terra Firma where he and Ernie Watts swing their buns off and UberSmooth where Gabriel shows off his ability to make hearts melt. Gabriel Mark Hasselbach has outdone himself on this album.
Jeremy Monteiro - Singapore-based International jazz pianist/composer/author and EFG Bank International Arts Ambassador
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 MidCentury 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.
JAZZIN’ IT UP By Dee Dee McNeil/Jazz Journalist
Very nicely done, adroitly performed and produced. Truly a high-level project.
Rick Scott, Great Scott P.R.oductions (unsolicited)