Chicago native, Berklee graduate and Los Angeles-based saxophonist Mark Hollingsworth has released his newest Cd Chasing the Sun on his own Windshore label. This newest offering features 14 selections of various styles yet all have close ties to Contemporary and Smooth Jazz.
First of all I must say that I have known Mark Hollingsworth since our days together at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He and I started on the same path some 25 years ago. His journey took him to L.A. and mine to Atlantic City and Philadelphia. We have stayed in touch these many years and even reunited while he was on tour with Tom Jones in Atlantic City. It is a pleasure to hear him continuing to offer new music on this Cd, Chasing the Sun.
The opening track Spirit of Adventure begins with a deceptive world music feel set up by the introduction. It quickly morphs into a furious tenor sax and bass riff reminiscent of both Weather Report and Steps Ahead. Just as the listener thinks he has an idea where things are headed the tune shifts one more time into what is a more traditional-sounding Smooth Jazz groove. Hollingsworth has you guessing right from the beginning on this musical journey.
It appears this kind of musical schizophrenia is by design according to Hollingsworth himself. In the liner notes he writes, “Chasing the Sun is an adventure embracing the spirit of exploration…There will be things familiar, but perhaps with a twist…”
As the Cd continues with Open Throttle, Hollingsworth and band mates stretch out a bit on the bluesy romp featuring tenor and guitar solos backed by some slick horn parts. It is clear on this cut that Mark has listened to a few Tom Scott records over the years.
Although the first two tracks are well done and representative of Hollingsworth’s talents, the Cd really hits its stride with tracks 3, 4 and 5. Tropic Breeze is a beautiful, flowing tune that should bring a smile to your face. This is a wonderful example of Hollingsworth’s tenor playing and even more so his compositional skills. The overdubbed woodwinds add a nice touch among this pretty straightforward foot tapper. Very nice job Mr. Hollingsworth.Read More