MIDCENTURY MODERN, VOL. 1 (2018)
I just had a chance to listen to Gabriel Mark Hasselbach’s album “MidCentury Modern” and was astonished by all the great playing and great production values. Whether playing on a swing or funk tune, his great tone and impeccable phrasing comes through every time, like liquid gold.
My favourite tracks are Mississippi Jump and Terra Firma, where he and Ernie Watts swing their buns off, and UberSmooth where Gabriel shows off his ability to make hearts melt. Gabriel Mark Hasselbach has outdone himself on this album.
Jeremy Monteiro – Singapore-based International jazz pianist/composer/author and EFG Bank International Arts Ambassador
Once again, Gabriel Mark Hasselbach has produced an album of fine jazz, combining the Straight-ahead style with modern jazz and what he refers to as MidCentury music, all woven together like the lovely, colorful threads of a Canadian poncho. You can wrap yourself up in his music and feel warm and satisfied.There is a beautiful vocal on “Nature Boy” sung by Mike Taylor. His voice is smooth and sweet as warmed caramel candy. It was a nice surprise to hear a vocal on Hasselbach’s normally all instrumental project. The third tune, “Blues on My Mind,” features Cory Weeds on tenor saxophone. He swings hard, along with pianist Miles Black. This tune moves from a moderate blues into a straight-ahead double-time tempo. There’s a horn refrain that harmonically pulls the piece together, as a comfortable reference point throughout. “Terra Firma Irma” is another one of my favorite compositions on this album and it features the great Ernie Watts on tenor saxophone. However, it’s the fiery Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, on trumpet, (sometimes flute), that brings this project to a boil. He keeps the music alive and swinging throughout. Hasselbach always manages to insert bold funk and lovely melodies into productions that make you want to dance, sing and swing.
JAZZIN’ IT UP By Dee Dee McNeil/Jazz Journalist
Very nicely done, adroitly performed and produced. Truly a high-level project.
Rick Scott, Great Scott P.R.oductions (unsolicited)