Mark Sherman Quintet DVD Promo

Mark Sherman Quintet with Jerry Bergonzi @ The Kitano Jazz NYC

What an inspiring weekend of music at The Kitano jazz room in NYC with my band of 8 years with Tim Horner, Allen Farnham, and Dean Johnson. Jerry Bergonzi was a guest with us this weekend. In addition Jerry stayed at my house for the weekend so we played a lot of music at home, and at the club at night. He is flat out an incredible musician, and certainly one of the top 5 saxophone geniuses alive today. His playing is so fluid, and his language is so deeply rooted. It was a truly motivating to play and hang with him for 3 days. In addition he is just a great cat full of love, and music. Many colleagues, and friends came out to see us, as we tore up tunes like Quasimodo, Hot House, and many originals, and re-harmonized standards. It was a fantastic weekend.


The Quartet

Well we set off on tour for our first stop in Oldenburg Germany to perform at Jazz Club Alluvium on Feb 23rd. A nice venue run by a singer named Al Yasha Anderson. She is originally from Brooklyn New York, and now residing in Oldenburg. The concert was a nice start to our 6 concerts in Germany, and Switzerland. We are preparing new music for a recording in Switzerland on February 26+27 live at Chorus Jazz Club. We have been playing all new music by Tim Horner, Allen Farnham, and myself. Some very challenging stuff. On morning of the 24th we drove to Rostock Germany where we played for the second time at Upsprung, which is a nice little club in Rostock in the northeast of Germany. The music grows each night as we pour our hearts and souls deep into what we love to do. Next day we drove to Schwann Germany where we played at this really fantastic little place called Kulterschanke, run and owned by Sylva Tkotsch. We met Sylva last year when we performed in Rostock, and she absolutely insisted we come to perform at her venue this year. It was a great concert as it was completely acoustic with no microphones anywhere. A little stage which put us very close to each other. It felt great on the stage, as I could hear really well, and the usual monitor systems that these clubs have were not there to ruin the sound onstage. It was like playing in our living room. The music really took off that night. Before the concert, as the audience filed into the club, I noticed there were many older folks coming in as well as a younger crowd, so I felt that it would nice to give them a standard tune to start the set. We did that and then continued with our original music as we prepare for the recording on the 26-27th. Much to my surprise they were very enthusiastic about the original music. They really ate it up. We sold many CD’s and it ended as a great night.

Now comes the tough leg of the tour. We departed at 6am on the 26th, drove 2hours to Hamburg airport. Unloaded, returned the car, checked in, and took our flight to Zurich. We need to be in the Geneva area, but the flights from Hamburg to Geneva were so expensive I chose to go to Zurich as we had 85-euro flights. Upon arriving at Zurich we caught a train to Lausanne to arrive for the concert/live recording at Chorus Jazz Club. We got to the hotel at 4:40pm. Rested I hour and went to the sound check. Ate dinner and hit at 9pm. 2 burning sets to a packed club. This club has become our home away from home. We are so well received in Switzerland in general, but it is our 5th year playing at Chorus, and the same faces, and friends keep coming. Sold a load of CD’s and even though we were totally exhausted from the trip that day, and no sleep, we played our asses off. This band is incredible. For me it is a dream come true to work the music to this level, and simply to be on the stage performing at this level at this point in my life. I have dreamed of this path since I was 13 years old, when I first heard Elvin Jones play live at The Village Vanguard. I actually broke in tears during rehearsal of a ballad that Tim Horner wrote titled “I Wish I Knew You”, as I became over whelmed with the beauty of the music, and the gratitude I have for these musicians, the music, my family, thinking of lost friends, and the difficulties of life. Another song we play is a beautiful waltz dedicated to the bass player Bob Bowen who was tragically run over by a truck while riding his bike in New York. The song is titled “The Place I Feel Free”, composed by Tim Horner as well. It refers to Bob’s stories of his life, as he spoke to Tim, and said how the one place he feels free is when he is riding his bike, as the day-to-day problems of life disappear when riding. How sad, and ironic he was killed in that place he felt so free! Life is so fragile out here for us all, and we must continue to be grateful for what we have. I miss my family when on the road, but my road family keeps me moving, and I am very grateful for the music. It makes me feel free, alive, and continuously motivated to, play better today than I did yesterday!! Second night of recording at Chorus tonight. Can’t wait to hear it when finished!

Mark Sherman in Rostock

Allen Farnham

Dean Johnson

Tim Horner

The great videographer Vincent Ruiz has compiled clips of the individual interviews from our DVD release and posted them on you tube. It’s great to hear the guys speak about music. The complete DVD is available at BAND MARK SHERMAN JOE MAGNARELLI TIM HORNER DEAN JOHNSON ALLEN FARNHAM

Well I just finished three days of recording as a guest artist on Italian bass player Luigi Ruberti CD project here in Napoli Italy. It is a dedication to legendary pianist Bill Evans and has tunes like “Very Early”, “We Will Meet Again”, and many other great Bill Evans compositions all thoughtfully arranged with great purpose by Luigi Ruberti, and I assisted him with many reharmonization and rhythm section arrangements. The musicians Mimmo Napolitano, and Giuseppe La Pusata are excellent especially the trumpet player Gianfranco Campognoli. He is only 32 years old and he just knocked me out. This kid flat out plays his ass off. Great tone, time,  incredible technique, big heart and emotion, and is deeply rooted in the jazz language. Straight out of Freddy Hubbard and Woody Shaw, Clifford Brown etc. He can really spell the stuff out correctly. He is like a young Joe Magnarelli who is one of  my favorites.  Most have never heard of him , but you will eventually, This type of talent cannot remain a secret forever. All in all a great experience for me as a guest artist I was featured a lot. Tutto bene!!!!

Well I arrived in Napoli Italy safely after a realy nice flight on a monster Airbus 380 plane. WOW what an enormous plane. Very quiet with great compression. So we arrived a little late. I had 35 minutes to catch my connecting flight to Napoli which of course was a smaller plane, but because we were late, and the connection was in a different terminal I missed it by 5 minutes. I ran like a dog to make it and of course in Paris on the connecting flights you often need to take a bus out to the plane. Anyway I ran to gate  only to miss the bus. I was soaked as my carry on bag was heavy and must have ran a mile. What a drag. Anyway I waited 2 hours to take a flight to Rome. No problem for me but the ride picking me up had to drive all the way to Rome to get me 2.5 hours. Either way I made and rehearsed today and ate that amazing Bufallo mozarella cheese. Start recording tomorrow.

The Mark Sherman Quintet

The final touches on a full length DVD of my quintet are being done as we speak , but check out this 10 minute promo of band. I am really excited about it as finally I have really documented this band at a high level. It was recorded live at Sweet Rhythm in New York City on  July 3rd 2009 featuring Joe Magnarelli, Allen Farnham, Dean Johnson, and Tim Horner,  and myself. Sound recorded by Paul Wickliffe of Skyline Pro, and filmed by Vincent Ruiz. The full length DVD of 10 tunes will be released globally in January or February. I hope you all enjoy it!