These last couple of years I seemed to have submerged myself, though not 100% intentionally, in everything Ellington. I made a ‘modern Ellington’ album, which was produced by my husband, …
While it might be perceived as a gimmick, the dictionary entry actually gets to the heart of the band’s aesthetic. It points out that it relies on Mark Zandveld’s distinctive composing skills, but also that the music is conceived through collective playing and not only one man’s vision. Finally, there’s a great deal of humor and creativity involved, and this is also shown in titles like “Barhopping,” “Boptopus” and “What a Difference the Bass Makes.” Clearly, these guys like to play together, but make no mistake, behind the smile there’s also a stone-cold seriousness and an ambition to create an expression that is both musically curious and singular. – Jakob Baekgaard – All About Jazz
Some of the pieces are written in the most common way jazz tunes are: in the form of a chord progression with a melody. Other pieces are more elaborate, with more information for each musician on the charts. Sometimes melodic ideas just flow and dictate the chords, and sometimes Mark poses himself the challenge to write a certain type, style or form of music. Considering tunes to be more than an excuse to improvise on, Mark likes to present a fresh variation, unified by the sound of the band.
As far as sources of influence you may or may not hear, Mark Zandveld has always loved the combination of vibraphone and guitar, plus the melodic and adventurous music of Corea, Burton, Jarret, Metheny and Swallow, and bands like Yellow Jackets and Steps, to whom he is grateful for the inspiration.
On the CD you hear: Mark Zandveld – bass; Gunnar Graafmans – vibraphone; Daniel de Moraes – guitar; Enrique Firpi – drums. In live performances, Mark has the collaboration of with Jeen Rabs – guitar and Jurjen Bakker – drums.
1. Wonderful vocalist Deborah J. Carter has written lyrics to a selection of Zandscape pieces, and performs with the group on special concerts. The lyrics stay true to the essence of each song, verbalising the stories that were already being told melodically by this talented quartet. Check her out on deborahjcarter.com
2. Fresh repertoire in a new direction, involving a string quartet, is in post-production – stay tuned for more details!
Visit zandscape.com for more videos, CD track fragments, info and press.