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Mark Wingfield

Tales from the Dreaming City

Review by Gary Hill

This is the most recent disc from Mark Wingfield and continues to show off both his guitar skills and his fusion stylings. It is an intriguing set that makes its way between more mainstream fusion, spacey textures and freeform instrumental sounds. While there isn't a huge range from song to song at times, no two pieces feel the same by any means. In fact, sometimes two parts of the same composition are quite different.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Fifth Window
I love the cool guitar sounds that make their way over the top of this intriguing fusion arrangement. There is some smoking hot soloing at times. There are some weird spacey elements that emerge at the end to take it out with yet another flavor.
I Wonder How Many Miles I've Fallen
While this space fusion cut is a bit less fiery, it has every bit as much passion as the previous track did. It's a classy number that works really well. Of course, the guitar work is exceptional, but it also drops down for a cool bass solo further along the musical road here.
The Way to Hemingford Grey
I like the balance between louder and mellower music here. There is a bit of a dark ominous quality to some of this. It has a cool spacey section later in the track that features some more exceptional bass work. I love so many of the musical textures on this killer fusion piece. The ominous dark texture is replaced with something a lot brighter later in the cut.
Sunlight Cafe
The opening of this really does feel lighthearted like a sunlight cafe to me. The guitar soloing is inspired and powerful as this fusion number builds in intriguing directions. That direction shifts in dramatic ways as it works toward the half-way point, getting a bit experimental. A quick stops brings in a new movement. As that exploration continues there is even a percussion jam. It gets into some powerful fusion jamming from there.
Looking Back at the Amber Lit House
There is a bit of a soaring, shifting and changing mode here. This piece continues to evolve. The percussion arrangement is really pretty crazed at times. The song has a particularly dramatic movement where the melodic instrumentation drops back a bit, but the drums really wail. They work back out to more typical fusion from there to take it to a false ending. The cut rises up into a new movement from there and gradually increases in intensity as it works onward. 
This Place up Against the Sky
A bit on the crazed side, this comes in with more compelling fusion textures. It works through with style and finesse as it continues driving onward. It really gets into some trippy stuff mid-track as the drums just dance around with abandon. There is a cool bit of space at the end.
At a Small Hour of the Night
Footsteps start things here. As musical elements rise up there are trippy and a bit creepy. Bass moves around a bit in the background as the guitar creates lines of weirdness over the top. This thing remains in the mellower zone. It's freeform and exploratory in nature.
A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane
More energized and mainstream, this is a moving fusion number. After moving in a fairly straight line for a time, they shift this one toward sparse odd exploratory freeform stuff, too.
Ten Mile Bank
The drumming on this is quite interesting. The piece has some cool melodic elements. While it's more mainstream fusion, there are still some rather exploratory things involved in the cut.
The Green-Faced Timekeepers
I dig the vibes on this piece. The cut is another killer hunk of fusion, but it has some spacey angles and textures built into it, too. It turns quite spacey later in the number, but works back out into the more mainstream stuff to continue. There is a cool percussion based movement later in the piece. A voice just delivering single syllables, more as a chant than anything else emerges near the end. It eventually speeds up to something like scat singing to end.
 
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