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The Mark Lomax Trio

"Mark Lomax and [T]rio have created a program which is visceral and soul-searching..."- Step Tempest

"This (The State of Black America) is a fine recording that brings the intuitive nature of the [T]rio to the fore."- The Wire

"This is the kind of playing that jazz would, indeed, be wise to never outgrow."- Buffalo News

 

Isis & Osiris

Mark Lomax, II

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“The drummer’s music is as sharp as his perceptions are, and it swings magnificently.” — All About Jazz

The Mark Lomax Trio – with the drummer-leader joined by saxophonist Eddie Bayard and bassist Dean Hulett – have created a boldly dynamic suite on African mytho-spiritual themes with the album Isis and Osiris, to be released September 16, 2014, by Inarhyme Records. Isis and Osiris follows Lomax’s lauded 2010 album, The State of Black America – which All About Jazz declared “audacious” in bridging “the firebrand music of the 1960s from today’s world,” walking “the roads traveled by John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sonny Rollins, John Tchicai and Archie Shepp... to deliver an unflinching tour-de-force.”

Isis and Osiris – featuring melodies of deep-blues feeling and polyrhythms evoking Africa traditions – brims with thematic unity and improvisational fire in the spirit of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. The Mark Lomax Trio is a telepathic unit, colored by Bayard’s moving, muezzin-like keening, Hulett’s ever-earthy tone, and Lomax’s detail-rich drums that drive the music with a composer’s will. The tracks of the album are woven like a tapestry, with interludes that connect the sequence and feature the talents of each player solo. This is exciting, affecting music, accessible to all lovers of jazz past and present.

The release of Isis and Osiris comes just after the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation – an ideal time to reflect on the roots of African-American culture. While Greco-Roman mythology permeates the learning on which much of American culture has been based, the beautiful creativity at the heart of Egyptian and African mythology hasn’t reached the mainstream in quite the same way. Isis and Osiris is Lomax and company’s instrumental offering to help right the balance, inspired by the stories and history of Africa and its descendants. Lomax states, “Eddie and Dean are musicians who believe in the power of music to make profound statements. We’ve been performing together for more than a decade now, and I can’t think of more sympathetic artists I could be working with, musically or spiritually.”

Reflecting on the conflict and violence that seem to dominate the headlines, Lomax says: “Albert Ayler said, ‘Music is the healing power of the universe.’ That’s true in that love is what can heal the world, and music is a loving art.”

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  1. 1 Kemet 11:13
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  2. 2 Bass Interlude 02:29
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  3. 3 Isis 08:03
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  4. 4 Drum Interlude 02:17
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  5. 5 Osiris 07:57 Info
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  6. 6 Drum Interlude 00:41
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  7. 7 Chaos 03:08
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  8. 8 Love 04:14
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  9. 9 Saxophone Interlude 01:13
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  10. 10 Resurrection 04:58
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The State of Black America

Mark Lomax, II

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Inarhyme Records is pleased to announce the release of The State of Black America, the extraordinary new CD by the Mark Lomax Trio, featuring composer/drummer Mark Lomax, II along with saxophonist Edwin Bayard and bassist Dean Hulett. They make music with a purpose, not just to entertain, but also to invite the listener on a journey towards peace and enlightenment through sound.

“As I was writing the music for this CD,” Lomax says, “I was dealing with issues of identity. I was trying to figure out what good an African American male who composed in the Western European art tradition could do for his community or the world at large.” Lomax formed his first trio, Blacklist, with Bayard in 1998. Through the years, they gained national recognition for their work with trumpeter Marlon Jordan, and most recently tenor saxophone legend Azar Lawrence. The band has undergone several personnel changes as it struggled to stay together. Then Lomax scheduled a recording session that only Bayard and the newest member of the band, bassist and composer Dean Hullett, could attend. The results reinvigorated the road-worn trio and gave birth to The Mark Lomax Trio.

“I reformed the trio because I have grown disillusioned with both the tradition of ‘art-for-art’s-sake’ and the low esteem with which African American art traditions are held in the academy,” Lomax says. “I began writing and performing music rooted in the blues tradition that gave birth to Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach, and Charles Mingus. And I felt that my music explored spiritual, philosophical, and political ideals that can unite listeners and help inspire them to realize their individual and collective potential.”

The State of Black America reflects both the spiritual and artistic concerns of Lomax, as well as the exceptional, almost telepathic rapport the trio has developed over the years. The five-movement composition creates a narrative that balances the structure of groove and swing with complete freedom.

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  1. 1 Stuck In A Rut 09:36
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  2. 2 Fear of the Unknown Self 09:56
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  3. 3 The Power of Knowing 11:53
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  4. 4 To Know God Is To Know Thyself 09:44
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  5. 5 Blues for Charles (who split b4 the butterfly flew in) 09:20
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mark-lomax-saxtrio-stage-plot.pdf Stage set-up for Lomax saxophone trio 46.4 KB
Lomax EPK 13.7 MB