Mark Lockheart has been a part of the British jazz vanguard for many years now, most notably attracting attention in the mid-to-late 80s with Loose Tubes and later with experimental jazz band Polar Bear. Dreamers introduces a new outfit for a fitting project that displays a playful and varied scope of imagination.
Lockheart is joined by musicians much admired in their own right. Dave Smith on drums, Tom Herbert on bass and Elliot Galvin on keyboards all demonstrate abilities honed in varied contexts. Smith has played in projects such as Fofoulah and Juju, exploring West African rhythms, Herbert us known for being a member of The Invisible, and Galvin has had a major role in Dinosaur.
Mark notes that “the grooves, the sonics and the musical character of each piece are all hugely important”, adding: “The process of writing music for these musicians led me into a new sound world that’s very different from anything I’d done before.”
Lockheart cites four distinguished sources for inspiring the sound – Burt Bacharach, John Zorn, Kraftwerk and Duke Ellington. Putting it mildly, that’s an awful lot of ground covered. The psychedelic sonority lives up to the title names, with Marmalade Skies giving a hypnotic character and Mingle Tingle letting off post-punk steam. Dream Weaver suggests hints of Charles Lloyd’s tune of the same title while Mirage seems fitting for a hallucinogenic thriller.
It’s a fine recording, one that opens unknown compositional portals with its sophistication, varied forms and mostly musical principles. This is vibrant and moody nocturnal jazz at its finest. Lockheart shows his listeners you can have respect and understanding for the past, but not be a prisoner of it.
Mark Lockheart tells Trevor Hodgett more about Dreamers in this Jazz Journal interview.
Dreamers; Weird Weather; Jagdish; King of the World (Jagdish reprise); Gangster Rat; Nature V Nature; Fluorescenses; Marmalade Skies; Mirage; Sixteen; Dream Weaver; Mingle Tingle (53:48)
Mark Lockheart (s); Elliot Galvin (kyb); Tom Hebert (b); Dave Smith (d).
Fish Factory, London, December 2020.
Edition Records EDN1195