My string of reviews covering instrumental albums continues with guitarist Mark Wingfield’s Tales From The Dreaming City.
Mr. Wingfield is British, with an established music career, and yet he might have passed under my radar if I wasn’t following his label’s Bandcamp. And then the boss offered me his latest release to review.
Bandcamp is a wonderful music resource, with many artists offering physical media to go along with the digital downloads and streaming. There is much to be discovered there.
Mr. Wingfield’s music style is described as jazz, but I feel this album is more than just that genre. The tonality I hear is unique, and this can be confirmed by this quote from the man’s press release – ““Most of the unusual tones I get are from the way I play. I use a lot of unusual slurs, attacks, vibrato and pitch bends. I often don’t play any notes in a normal way. And because I’m not using the expected phrasing and I’m concentrating on creating different tones with my fingers, it tends to sound like I’m using a really unusual guitar sound or a lot of effects, whereas in fact I’m not. My approach to phrasing and tone is something I’ve worked on for a long time and continue to work on. And the key to finding my sound was learning how to really let go when I played and then teaching my fingers how to create the sounds I was hearing in my head.”
The guitarist’s playing style is appealing to me on this recording, as it strong enough to carry a song as a singer’s voice might. As in the other albums I’ve reviewed, I feel this is a wonderful asset. Mr. Wingfield’s tone is so clear and melodic, effortless to listen to, with every note as it is meant to be.
One of the tracks i most enjoyed is Ten Mile Bank, which, to my ears, leans toward a progressive rock sound.
You can hear the love Mr. Wingfield has for his craft in his playing.
I think if you enjoy the guitar playing of Allan Holdsworth, you would certainly like the style of playing featured on this album. Or if you are a guitar fan of almost any stripe, there is much to be loved here.
If you are willing to open your ears to a journey of discovery, I strongly suggest you check out Tales From The Dreaming City.
The Fifth Window
I Wonder How Many Miles I’ve Fallen
The Way To Hemingford Grey
Looking Back At The Amber Lit House
This Place Up Against The Sky
At A Small Hour Of The Night
A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane
Ten Mile Bank
The Green-Faced Timekeepers
Mark Wingfield – guitar, soundscapes
Yaron Stavi – fretless bass guitar
Asaf Sirkis – drums, konakol singing (10)
Dominique Vantomme – synth soloist (3, 5, 9, 10)