Songs After Hours
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Soprano Mary Mackenzie and pianist John Chin along with their colleagues perform jazz songs by John Harbison.

Composer John Harbison's history as a jazz player divides into two widely distant segments: the first, as founder-leader of Harbison's Heptet (1952-63); the second in the present century as founder-member of the Token Creek Jazz Ensemble and coach for VocalJazz MIT. As he comments in the introduction to this recording, "The songs were never aimed at a specialized audience…they had mainstream intentions, to catch ears and hearts, and occasionally to follow some restless habit of curiosity. They are fully inhabited by the performers here in ways I scarcely imagined, which is as it should be…Are we hearing jazz, or some strange prolongation of the American Songbook ideal, or perhaps even new song forms?" Described by the New York Times as "a soprano of extraordinary agility and concentration," Mary Mackenzie has captured the attention of audiences throughout the United States. A passionate performer of contemporary vocal music, Ms. Mackenzie has collaborated with several leading composers, including Pierre Boulez, John Harbison, and Richard Danielpour, among others. When she was asked by the composer to perform some "new songs," she wasn't expecting to receive hand written sheet music with a cover page listing "Pop Songs." She discovered exquisite tunes that were not unlike the jazz standards of her grandparents' generation. This recording fulfills a long-time dream of sharing the ensemble's interpretations with the world.
Contents:
John Harbison, composer
In Over My Head
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
Brazil
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
Sleep Song
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
Baseline Ballad
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
All For You
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
Eyes
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
To Be With You
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
Big Orange Moon
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
This Love
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
I Could End Up Loving You Tonight
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
I'm Through
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

John Harbison, composer
Christmas Again
Mary Mackenzie, vocals; John Chin, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Dan Rieser, drums

Review:
It may or may not come as a surprise that John Harbison writes jazz songs in his spare time. This is a collectino of them, sung beautifully by the wonderful Mary Mackenzie, probably best known for her work in the new music world. She is backed by a fine quartet of jazz musicians, who give these arrangements the best showing Harbison could ask for… (American Record Guide)
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