Mark Dejong is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader, and is a founding member of the Outer Bridge Ensemble. His debut CD The Unknown was released on the Chronograph Records label, and reached #2 on the top 20 Canadian campus and community radio jazz charts for 2008. 'Mark Dejong is one of the finest tenor players working in the jazz mainstream, a fact that's concealed by his Saskatoon residence. His playing is imaginative and grounded, thoughtful and passionate, and there's a luminosity that comes through everywhere on his CD The Unknown.' Stuart Broomer - Toronto Life magazine "...The Unknown" focuses on the power of Mark's tenor saxophone, whose sound remains in the foreground during the epic creations on the album. The piano and wurlitzer provide roundness and a gloomy, hidden feeling, while the solid rhythm section drives through occasional deconstruction and dramatic switches. What makes this album so good is it's capacity to innovate while remaining accessible, and to produce a sound that goes well with standards while sounding like an album composed and produced today'. François-Samuel Fortin, Jazz Director CHYZ 94.3 - Université Laval, Quebec ...'Congratulations on a stunning CD. Swinging jazz at it's best indeed, delivered with style and panache from a wonderful outfit led by your virtuoso saxophone playing. Stunning reed sir, stunning. Your compositions are electric and engaging. The tempo and delivery is faultless. Will it get air-play here on the leading jazz show? Yes it will, and then the listeners will hear what l have had the absolute pleasure of listening to! Congratulations on an absolute gem of a CD. Peter Merrett, Music Manager for PBS 106-7 FM Melbourne, Australia ...'It's been a pleasure to receive your CD,to know and to promote your music, so full of energy and poetry. It isn't a simple exhibition of good technic, but a communication of sincere 'feeling' that arrives directly to the sensible listener. Bruno Pollacci, AnimaJazz, Punto Radio FM, Italy This is a bright, sharp, and innovative recording, played with considerable imagination... The two standards are played with style and Mr DeJongs' compositions serve to complement them. Certain passages remind me of the West Coast Sound of the late 50's and early 60's, (Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Gerry Mulligan et al.) This recording is well thought out and produced and reflects the talent of all concerned. John Reid Keith Community Radio 102.8 FM, Scotland If the title track of "The Unknown" is any indication, this CD is a winner. .. The Outer Bridge Ensemble plays clean...the tunes by DeJong are particularly evocative and melodic, containing a beautiful sax solo with a touch of melancholy. (He) is becoming a truly exceptional composer... The crowd ate it up, and gave them a well-deserved standing ovation..." Joanne Paulson, Saskatoon Star Phoenix Mark is also a member of the Outer Bridge Ensemble, a group that performs music that reflected a various musical influences with key elements from the jazz tradition. The band explores varied textures and instrumentation, odd time signatures, changing rhythmic meters, and ensemble interaction. The band continuously achieves subltle nuance and refinement. Their first studio effort produced 'Outer Bridge', and the opening selection "Mingus Moon" was a finalist in the 2003 International Songwriting Competition. Following critically acclaimed performances in venues across New Jersey and New York, the Outer Bridge released their second CD 'Seamless' in 2005. They have appeared regularly in New York, and were featured at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival (2007), received a standing ovation opening for John Scofield at the Saskatchewan International Jazz Festival (2008), recorded for CBC Live! (2008) and performed to rave reviews in two separate tours to Italy in March and November of 2008. In 2009 the band is already scheduled to perform in Vancouver, The Pender Harbour Jazz Festival, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, and the Yardbird Suite Festival in Edmonton. More Reviews: "...The Outer Bridge Ensemble proved to be handy, all-purpose showmen, keeping the 500 fans fascinated by the way these talented players explored musical possibilities..." Denis Armstrong, Ottawa Sun "...the band shades it's work with sounds from the East...ragas, Klezmer, and Balkan soul...as well as a nod to downtown NYC folk in the form of a tribute to Phillip Glass. The stylistic elements are woven into the fabric of the music that gives the ensemble a distinctive sound. That translates into pulsating rhythmic groove...they swing, yet with a certain Old-World charm..." Cadence Magazine ".... their mature chemistry and adventurous sounds are evident on their latest release, Seamless...." Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal ".... Outer Bridge features exquisitely beautiful compositions book-ended by fearless yet meaningful free improvisations...this disc reveals an ensemble of considerable talent...." Ernie Rideout, Keyboard Magazine ? ".... exceedingly original yet accessible, the music has a certain timelessness about it....If Jazz is the sound of surprise, then this is it! The players have distinctive voices. DeJong's alto sax tone has been honed to be almost pure sound with no reediness. Hudson carefully chooses the voicing of his chords (while) Noordzy and Freeman on bass and drums respectively provide the backbone..."Outer Bridge" will definitely reward multiple listens. Hudson and company have created music that is memorable... it will surely attract listeners who have come from different directions...." Budd Kopman, All About Jazz "... Hudson's piano work is stellar, whether providing crystalline cascades, or through his undulating wurlitzer that stokes funky urgency....an auspicious debut from a talented group of youngsters Ernie Rideout, Cadence Magazine "... From the band's first notes, Hudson's mix of jazz, funk, and grooves took over the room... The vibe is produced and controlled by the constantly shifting rhythm and meter... The Outer Bridge Ensemble continues on it's path, honing it's already individual sound while creating wonderful music.... Budd Kopman, All About Jazz "....I had the privilege of hosting the Outer Bridge Ensemble in 2008 and the fall of 2006, (and) their shows were a resounding success....They were instrumental in helping with our initial marketing and promotion, and we could not have been more pleased with both the crowd turnout and response..." Rob Young, Proprietor, Beat Niq Jazz Club.
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