This CD contains a nice variety of tunes; med-tempo, up-tempo,
bossa nova, ballads, and a jazz waltz. A splendid debut! Listen and see...
Mark Isbell - Alto Saxophone
Peter Sprague - Guitar
Mike Wofford - Piano
Bob Magnusson - Bass
John Guerin - Drums
Produced by: Mark Isbell and Peter Sprague
Recorded at: Spragueland Studios, Encinitas, Ca on March 14th & 15th, 2001
Recorded by: Peter Sprague
Assisted by: Kevin Hennessy
Mixed by : Peter Sprague and Mark Isbell
Mastered by: John Archer at Digital Barn, Fallbrook, Ca
SAXOPHONIST - MARK ISBELL'S BIO
A native of Southern California, Mark was born in 1960 in Santa Ana, and grew up in Huntington Beach located in Orange County. He was raised in a musical family, his father was a professional saxophonist and his mother played the vibes and was always singing around the house. Music was constantly in the air, and Mark was reared on the sounds of everyone from Stan Getz to the Beatles. In fact, according to his mother, Mark was singing along with Frank Sinatra records even before he could speak!
Mark's first instrument was the clarinet, starting on the alto sax later at about age 12. His high school jazz ensemble did well at the competitions, placing first at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. At Reno, Mark's soloing
was given a high ranking by Dr. Herb Wong. During this time he studied privately with Mr. Don Hawkins, a well known local teacher in the area whose former students include Eric Marienthal, Brandon Fields, and Doug Webb.
After high school, Mark decided to remain in Orange County and he attended Golden West and Orange Coast Colleges, gaining experience in their music departments. While at Golden West, Mark received private instruction from renowned saxophonist/arranger Mr. Tom Kubis.
Ultimately, Mark headed east to Boston, Mass and enrolled at the famed Berklee College of Music. He recalls: "It was a really productive time for me. I was totally surrounded by music 24 hours a day... a wonderful environment to be in. I look back on my days at Berklee with fond memories. I was going to school during the day, and jamming at night with fellow students Hendrik Meurkens, Joe Cohn, Tim Horner... people like that." Also during this time, Mark met and studied with legendary saxophonist Mr. Phil Woods, an experience that continues to provide inspriation even today. "Yeah, he was great with me" Mark says, "he really made me want to work at becoming a better saxophone player."
Upon returning to California, Mark started getting his first gigs and professional experience with players such as Marshall Otwell (pianist with Carmen McRae), Bob Messenger (formerly with the Carpenters), and drummers Paul Kreibich and Kevin Tullius. Mark has also performed with Frank Collett, George Gaffney, Bob Maize, Charlie Shoemake, Bruce Forman, Luther Hughes, and recorded with bassist Walter Booker.
Mark recently teamed up with guitarist and co-producer Peter Sprague to release his first recording as a leader "Jazz Influence" along with pianist Mike Woffford, bassist Bob Magnusson, and drummer John Guerin.
Mark currently resides in Japan with his wife Reiko, where he maintains an active teaching, and busy playing schedule.