Album review: Mark Pringle – A Moveable Feast (released Sept 2015)

A Moveable FeastFollowing in the footsteps of his hero Hemingway, award winning pianist and protegé of John Law, Mark Pringle recently studied in Paris. The influence of this time can be heard in this adventurous and interesting album for 12 piece orchestra, A Moveable Feast, released on Stoney Lane Records.

Like the book by Hemingway, this album is full of vivid impressions that grew on me with repeated listenings, the compositions echoing Hemingway’s memorable Paris residents, the smells, the cold, the drinking, but in the album we meet trees, plants and he writer himself. The opening composition ‘A Real Bombshell‘ with arresting and unsettling piano, and striking trumpet solo by Percy Pursglove, is sinister, chaotic and slightly sleazy.

The short album feels through-composed, the stories flow gently from one to another with plinks on the piano, muffled squeaks and creaks from woodwind and strings, the sounds of a city. The joyful calypso ‘Happy Plants ( Part II)’ is sandwiched between darker compositions, the 31 minute album as satisfying as a rich Parisian dinner. A very lovely ‘And That’s OK’ gently closes the album.

Mark has an extensive tour with his Trio or the full orchestra throughout September 2015, definitely worth catching, this young pianist could become the British Brad Mehldau, his many projects an indicator of a very great and mature talent.

Mary James 23 August 2015