Album review: MARK VICKNESS – Interconnected

MARK VICKNESS - Interconnected [Release date 15.09.20]

Mark Vickness is a classically trained guitarist but has also worked in jazz and fusion genres.  He freely mixes world flavours with classical/acoustic/rock.  On ‘Interconnected’ he is joined by some talented collaborators such as the Grammy award-winning Mads Tolling (violin), Joseph Hebert (cello), Dan Feiszli (bass) and Ty Burhoe (tabla).  Vickness’ previous album (‘Places’ in 2017) was mainly  solo guitar.

It’s a marvellous listen throughout, and mixes ensemble playing with Vickness’ solo pieces.  Of the former, the opener ‘Interwoven’ is a good scene setter with the cello/violin interplay a highlight.  ‘Hot Apple Stuff’ (which gets a live reprise) is more upbeat and infectious.  There’s a Celtic vibe going on in the violin melody.  ’6 in 7′ on the other hand starts with an Indian theme but soon breaks out in a really lovely groove, punctuated by the ever-present tabla and vibrant cello.

Of the solo pieces (with just tabla accompaniment), ‘Grey Skye’ and ‘Bodega Blue’ show off Vickness’ admirable fingerstyle playing.  And like ‘Mia Luca’ these tunes demonstrate a real ear for melodic composition.  ‘One Day Over A Thousand’ was composed during the virus pandemic and is therefore particularly poignant.

There is a real passion in this album in the playing and in the concept. From the very personal trio piece ‘For Every Child’ underpinned by the guitarist’s own childhood trauma to the premise of ‘interconnectivity’ that translates – at least in musical terms – to the musical modus operandi, mixing up jazz and rock rhythms with classical or folk motifs.

Sit back, pour a glass of your favourite tipple, and let this album wash over you.  Soul soothing.  *****

Review by David Randall

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

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Featured Albums w/c 8 March 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JOSEPH WILLIAMS Denizen Tenant (Mascot)
12:00-13:00 WHITESNAKE The Blues Album (Rhino)
14:00-16:00 ANNIE KEATING Bristol County Tides (indie)

Power Plays w/c 8 March 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ESCAPE THE FATE Unbreakable (Better Noise Music)
THE FRANCE Forever Too Long (indie)
ROBIN McAULEY Standing On The Edge (Frontiers)
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