The Deep Forbidden Lake, the Jazz Mandolin Project's sixth studio album, was recently released on their own label, Lenapee Records/DKE Records, on May 3rd. It is an acoustic, lyrical CD featuring 12 of leader, Jamie Masefield's, favorite songs, written by his favorite musicians. "I wanted to get back to some basics in my mandolin playing," says Masefield. "This album needed to be about playing quietly and relaxed, about melodies and arrangements and less about grooves and exploration. I also wanted to get away from my own compositions for a while and use some common ground by interpreting some things that weren't mine. This project became a secret mission that was fun."

With tracks such as Neil Young's "Winterlong," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Tom Waits' "Ol' 55," Radiohead's "Everything in its Right Place" and Ornette Coleman's "When Will the Blues Leave," Masefield heads in a fresh, acoustic direction with this release. Accompanying the mandolin, are renowned musicians Gil Goldstein (Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius) on piano and accordion and Greg Cohen (Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits, John Zorn) on upright bass.

The Jazz Mandolin Project decided to release the album a month earlier, April 4th, via JMP's website. Fans will also be able to purchase The Navigators Bundle through the website. This exclusive offering provides an in depth view of the album concept and how it was created including two bonus tracks, MP3 files of rehearsals tracing the evolution of the songs, photos of the recording sessions, the actual musical charts used, Masefield's personal journal of the album from its conception to completion and personal descriptions of all 14 songs (including the bonus tracks) and why they were chosen for this unique CD.

The Jazz Mandolin Project, which began as a group of jazz players that would get together at a local coffeehouse in Burlington, VT in 1993, has become one of the hardest touring live acts out there today. Jamie Masefield formed the group of ever-changing musicians to give himself the opportunity to do what he loved, to play jazz on the mandolin. The premise was that it wouldn't be looked at as a strict jazz gig but a session where the musicians would play whatever moved them, no matter what genre it took them to. "The whole concept of JMP," says Masefield "has been one of experimentation. Not everything we play could be considered jazz. We've always just played what interested us, so, often that has taken us far afield from what a typical person might consider jazz. The hope is that we sound like now rather than then."

To this day, to keep the flow of new ideas and creativity, JMP is found touring the country with different musicians. Some of the musicians who have played with JMP include such artists as Jon Fishman (Phish) on drums, Ari Hoenig (Kenny Werner, Joshua Redman) on drums, Chris Dahlgren (Anthony Braxton) on bass, Chris Lovejoy (Charlie Hunter) on percussion, and Danton Boller (Roy Hargrove, Benny Wallace) on bass. With an extraordinary ability to captivate all audiences, JMP has shared the stage with diverse artists such as members of Phish, moe., Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Ratdog, Rusted Root, Marc Ribot, String Cheese Incident, John Scofield and Soulive.

More info on The Deep Forbidden Lake: Here.
More info on The Navigators Bundle: Here.

[Published on: 5/17/05]

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