Mark de Clive-Lowe is easily one of this generation’s most prolific artists. Since releasing his debut CD, First Thoughts, in 1996, he’s since gone on to release well over 10 albums, in addition to becoming one of the industry’s best-kept secrets as a remixer, DJ and host to the highly successful CHURCH live music series. Now he returns with his latest project, Live at the Blue Whale, and as with his other collections, it promises to be a musical treat.
Recorded live over the course of two days at Los Angeles’ bluewhale, the four-track EP is a blend of both classic and progressive jazz subgenres. The multi-instrumentalist’s tool of choice is the grand piano, as evidenced by the EP’s first single, “Evergreen,” which opens with an extended piano solo that sets the tone for the project. The nine-minute long track finds MdCL easily transitioning moods and tones, languidly wooing ears before shifting to a more ominous and foreboding sound.
For the recording, MdCL was joined onstage by bassist Brandon Eugene Owens, drummer Gene Coye and Josh Johnson, who handled both flute and sax duties. The chemistry amongst the band is a great asset here, with their polished and tight sound belying the fact that they were improvising. The remainder of the songs on the EP find MdCL paying homage to artists that influenced him, including Yusef Lateef (“L+H”), Sun Ra (“The Golden Lady”) and Ahmad Jamal (“Swahililand”).
Live at the Blue Whale is available for pre-order via Bandcamp ahead of its February 17th release date. While you’ll have to wait until that day to hear the remainder of the album, pre-orders come with an immediate digital download of “Evergreen.” Take the song for a test drive below before heading over to Bandcamp to place your order.