Do Or Die – Mark McKnight

Do or Die
Bewitched (intro)
(We’ll) Just Disappear

Mark McKnight _ Guitar
Seamus Blake – Saxophone
Ross Stanley – Organ
James Maddren – Drums

Whirlwind Recordings
26th Sept, 2011

Irish guitarist Mark McKnight is a growing presence on the
international jazz scene and this second album will certainly enhance
his reputation as a player, band leader and composer. As is quickly
apparent on the opening title track, his guitar style combines a
singing sound with searching, bluesy energy and a quick-witted
sense of form. In the company of a band that takes the classic
Hammond organ quartet format into its own zone, he maintains his
creative edge across seven compositions, six of them originals
surrounding the album’s sole jazz standard, a beautifully realised,
contemplative take on Rodgers & Hart’s Bewitched. The tough, brisk
Tease finds McKnight and New York-based saxophonist Seamus
Blake playing superbly on extended unison phrases reminiscent of
Bob Berg and Mike Stern in their late quartet’s pomp, and while
organist Ross Stanley and drummer James Maddren play largely
supportive roles, they add no little colour and vitality as McKnight and
Blake tear up the guitarist’s variously elegant and urgent melodies.

Rob Adams