Mark Hollingsworth - Chasing The Sun


Los Angeles based studio musician Mark Hollingsworth has worked with musical legends like Stevie Wonder, Santana, Tom Petty, Ray Charles, Tom Jones,  Luther Vandross and Quincey Jones. Mark comments: “Working professionally with recording artists and other pros is always an amazing and powerful learning experience.  That's been a wonderful aspect of a career in music, I'm always learning new things!”

“After I left Tom Jones, I picked up recorders in a very casual way and over time found some other kinds of wood flutes and started experimenting with making my own flutes. Since I made the choice not to play oboe, which might have been helpful in Los Angeles, I decided that ethnic flutes would be another way of broadening my skill base.” Result of this experience was his debut album Zen Gardens (2002), which settles in the New Age meditation genre. He also played the score for the Chinese movie Xiu-Xiu.

He performed with artists from the smooth jazz scene like Dan Siegel, Grant Geisman and Greg Adams. Motivated by his fans Mark recorded his second album On The Mark in 2005. “On the Mark really got started because of the musicians I worked with when I toured with Greg Adams. James Wirrick played guitar and wrote and produced with Greg for several of Greg's albums. We produced that album in the same way that many smooth jazz albums are produced today. We started with ‘mock-ups’ of the songs using samples and loops. Then we overdubbed one instrument at a time starting with drums. We would replace a mocked up part with the real player leaving only some of the samples or loops in the mix. Working with James gave me the confidence to know that my first album would turn out to be a quality project.”

There is a smell of Indiana Jones in the air. Mark is chasing the sun and he starts his quest with Spirit of Adventure. "This is the spirit of exploration that one's permeated Western Man's thinking," comments Mark in the liner notes. The starter is leaving the safe soundscape of smooth jazz and travels into the region of fusion jazz. Mark comments: “I wrote and produced this entire album by myself, so I had no collaborators on this song.  This song is actually where my concept for the direction of the album as a whole coalesced.” 

Open Throttle sounds like a jazzy jam session. There is much space for all musicians even for extensive solos. Mark on tenor and alto sax is strongly supported by Nick Lane (trombone) and Bill Armstrong (trumpet).

Tropic Breeze is exactly what the title promises. A mellow tune based on a Bossa Nova rhythm filled with smooth textures of Mark's tenor sax, flute and clarinet. Spice of Life has a propelling groove. Mark blows his uplifting sax like hell.

Doing My Own Thing showcases Mark on tenor, alto and bari sax in a tight solo tune. That is overdubbing at its best. If you like to dance with a beloved person in a beautiful place Chasing The Sun is the right melody for you. Mark conjures up the good old time when we were tipsy by swing and Big Bands.

A Higher Plane is an uplifting approach to the sound of the 70's and 80's. Arrangement and performance are perfectly set in scene. Come on let's dance!  High Velocity his a nice reminiscence to the music of the Disco age. Hi-Hat rhythm, wah-guitar, horn-arrangement, all ingredients of the good old Saturday- Night-Fever-time.

No, that's not Car Wash, but Crawfish Pie. This burst out of Bill's muted trumpet and Nick's trombone let me tumble. Get me back to the French Quarter of New Orleans. Sambarosa is featuring Mark on flute performing a smooth Brazilian influenced melody.

Stowaway evokes memories of Indian tribes moving through the wide planes of the Wild West. A mixture of fusion and world music with Penny-whistles and Bansuri flutes. On Undercurrents the members of Mark's group are presenting their contributions in solos which gives this tune a unique varnish.

The final tune Darwin's Voyage is with more than 8 minutes the longest of this album. This epic ballade holds up the fusion torque. Very expressive Curtis Pringle on piano, while Mark's soprano sax has a touch of oriental flagrance.

Mark's album Chasing The Sun is definitely not the typical smooth jazz album we are used to listen to. Consequently Mark avoids the trends of contemporary music to create his own different style of jazz.





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  • Title: Chasing The Sun
    Artist: Mark Hollingsworth
    Year: 2007
    Length: 1:13:52
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Windshore Music

    01 Spirit of Adventure [7:15]
    02 Open Throttle [6:14]
    03 Tropic Breeze [5:45]
    04 Spice Of Life [6:29]
    05 Doing My Own Thing [2:33]
    06 Chasing The Sun [5:54]
    07 A Higher Plane Intro [1:04]
    08 A Higher Plane [5:55]
    09 High Velocity [6:44]
    10 Crawfish Pie [3:04]
    11 Sambarosa [5:09]
    12 Stowaway [3:18]
    13 Undercurrents [6:10]
    14 Darwin's Voyage [8:18]