The Mah Goodman Quartet is a contemporary jazz group that brings together some of Canada's top young jazz talent from across the Country. The group has toured across Canada and bridges the gap between the Eastern and Western jazz communities. "Convergence" represents the group's debut album and presents imaginative contemporary jazz music that swings, rocks and has a uniquely identifiable character. The album represents original material, a jazz standard and novel takes on rock tunes by Pink Floyd and Radiohead.
The group presents strong chemistry between four very accomplished musicians. The result is high energy music that draws the listener in.
The Mah Goodman Quartet is:
Brent Mah - saxophones
Alex Goodman - guitar
Dan Fortin - bass
Karl Schwonik - drums
The hottest young players around - Calgary Jazz Association
The players are of one musical mind. The resultings are vivid, open and filled with well-studied complexities. 3 1/2*/4* - Peter Hum, the Ottawa Citizen
Some of the country’s top young jazz musicians - Vancouver Province
All about unity when they hit the stage - Vancouver Sun
the quartet takes us on a journey...a journey that has a strong sense of artistic purpose. - Lyle Rebbeck, President of the Medicine Hat jazz society written in the Medicine Hat news
“An all star Canadian Jazz Group”
The New Westminster Record
Liner Notes from Rolling Stones Saxophonist Tim Ries
The Mah/Goodman Quartet was formed in January of 2009. Convergence represents the groups first, and I certainly hope not the last, recording after a tour of western Canada. It sounds as if these four accomplished young musicians have played together for years. The connection between Dan and Karl is really a special alliance. They are keeping such great time and yet are flexible enough to flow with the soloists and take it to any direction. Dan has amazing pitch and a beautiful full sound. He creates such openness with his wide beat that the band can soar above his lines. Just listen to his introduction on Skeletons and you will hear exactly what I am talking about. He has developed into one of the truly great bassists in Canada, or the world for that matter. Karl makes the drum kit sound like one instrument, a balanced, unified voice. Often when drummers leave the ride cymbal and get busy with fills then they lose the groove. That is definitely not the case with Karl. I was quite taken by his ability to keep the music moving forward and yet not let the time suffer due to the interplay during the solos. Bravo.
The compositional and instrumental maturity represented on this disc is obviously at a very high level. One doesn’t get the feeling that you are hearing pieces composed by musicians in their early twenties. I am delighted that out of 10 songs, 7 are original compositions, 2 are very striking arrangements on rock songs and one is one of my favorite jazz standards. Brent has penned three of these tracks, each with a very distinct character. On the alto he has an ease which he employs in the upper register and the first few bars of Darn That Dream sound as if he were playing a tenor. Very few young alto players utilize the low end of the horn. It was refreshing to hear his command over the entire range. There are obvious influences from Ornette in both his playing and compositions but he is certainly not just imitating, but creating imaginative sounds and fresh material.
Alex has written and arranged some brilliant pieces for this session. From the first track with its 5/4 time signature, Trane-like changes and intriguing lines, The Persistence of Memory with flowing melodies that could easily have lyrics, the hard bop Missed Opportunity, the mystical Vancouver’s Vibe to his wonderful arrangements, you can hear that Alex has developed his own voice, both as a guitarist and a composer. He employs classical, jazz and pop sensibilities to create landscapes as poignant as the Canadian frontier. His solo lines are as clear and structured as his compositions. As a guitarist he mixes his advanced knowledge of harmony and lines with a pure sound, unaffected by gimmicks and added effects that would diminish his performance.
Convergence is an impressive first outing for a terrific ensemble of four very skilled musicians.