Mark Bordenet Band / Being John McLaughlin at ToST
Mark Bordenet (see right) is an old friend from here in Seattle and the jazz deparment at the University of Washington. He's been living in Zoo York for a while now, and hopped back into town to play some of the music from his upcoming recording, Everything is Changing...All the Time. Backed by Ryan Burns, Mark Taylor and Geoff Harper, the group made their way through many Bordenet originals, as well as some music from Led Zeppelin. The originals had a great mix of pop-sensibility with jazz phrasing and concept; the simple, folk-like melodies that Bordenet has written work well in his hybrid jazz-pop-groove gumbo. I'll be playing some of Bordenet's new album on the 10th episode of my podcast, Seattle Jazzscene, so be sure to check that out if you'd like to hear what I heard.
And if that set of music wasn't enough, I got to hear Being John McLaughlin for the first time! While they started with Miles' Eighty-One, the rest was all Mahavishnu -- Rick Mandyck looked and sounded like he was channelling that 1970s rock-jazz thing (one might even say possessed!). With Matt Jorgensen and Rick Mandyck added to the already solid group (and Bordenet getting a chance for a drink), Being John McLaughlin, despite other claims, is still and always will be the first and best Mahavishnu cover band. And you know what -- I'll put money down on that! Take me up on it! I double-dawg dare ya!