Mark O'Connor Quintet | Suspended Reality

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Suspended Reality

by Mark O'Connor Quintet

The Playboy Guide to Jazz proclaims, “With his hearty sound and bristling ideas, O'Connor can bowl over even a jaded follower of post-bop jazz.” This band is driven by fiery straight ahead jazz that simultaneously grooves and pushes the art form forward.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Suspended Reality
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7:34 $0.69
2. A Monk's Dream
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6:22 $0.69
3. Flight of the Birds
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4:56 album only
4. Song for Betony
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8:01 $0.69
5. The Sound of Joy
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9:18 $0.69
6. Cady's Groove
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5:54 album only
7. Tail of the Sun
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5:21 $0.69
8. Kite Flying
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7:09 $0.69
9. Quiet Snow
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8:37 $0.69
10. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
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5:48 $0.69
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Wow! On break for the Club Series show featuring Mark O’Connor, tenor saxophonist, and his quintet – I feel like I’m at The Iridium or the Jazz Standard in New York City tonight – just incredible playing!”
- Jonathan Winkle, Executive Director,
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Performing Arts, Brookfield, WI

“O'Connor and colleagues, heard on Suspended Reality, are sophisticated soloists and ensemble players. This is only O'Connor's second CD, and he shows great skill as a saxophonist… he is someone to keep an eye on in future.”
- Michael Steinman, Cadence Magazine

“The shining aspect of the album [Suspended Reality] is the sheer exuberance of playing that comes from all parties…the players have a certain level of joy embedded in the passages that comes out remarkably well.”
- Adam Greenberg, Writer, All Music Guide

"O'Connor's tenor is meaty enough to channel the jazz tradition, but modern enough to capture the yearning vulnerabilities of his own time. On his second disc, he's gathered a top-notch Chicago band and supplied them with flavorful original compositions.”
- Neil Tesser, Chicago Jazz Music Examiner, Examiner.com

"Mark O'Connor's CD, Suspended Reality, is a swinging collection of straight ahead jazz. Top notch musicianship, intriguing solos and quality original compositions make this a must-have CD for any fan of today's modern post bop jazz. "
- Chris Stawski, Host of Free Jazz BBQ, WMSE, Milwaukee

“The Mark O'Connor Quintet is a true musical pleasure! Five outstanding musicians share their considerable talents, blending beautifully together in ensemble and adding their own unique thoughts in soloing.”
- Bruce Gibson, Radio DJ, WRRG Local Jazz Focus, Chicago, IL

“Suspended Reality is another strong outing from Mark O'Connor… confident tenor playing makes every track worth the listen, whether a burner or a ballad…thoughtful compositions stand out.”
- Jeff Machota, Radio DJ, WEFT, Champaign, IL

Long versions of quotes for Suspended Reality
“O'Connor and colleagues, heard on 'Suspended Reality', are sophisticated soloists and ensemble players. This is only O'Connor's second CD, and he shows great skill as a saxophonist. However, the CD presents all but two of his original compositions, which occasionally meander (his tribute to wife Betony an exception): the overall result is fervent but somewhat derivative late- period lyrical Hard Bop. But he is someone to keep an eye on in future (the closing "Nightingale" is proof).”
- Michael Steinman, Cadence Magazine

"O'Connor's tenor is meaty enough to channel the jazz tradition, but modern enough to capture the yearning vulnerabilities of his own time. On his second disc, he's gathered a top-notch Chicago band and supplied them with flavorful original compositions; if they do "suspend reality," it's only because they provide such a well-defined space for creative imagination. "
- Neil Tesser, Examiner.com

“With a long gap between albums as a leader, saxophonist Mark O'Connor leads his group through a fairly casual set on Suspended Reality, building a layer of instrumentation around a focal set of sax lines. The sound is locked into a slight blues groove for most of the proceedings, O'Connor combining with piano and bass to provide a strong night club aesthetic. Just a hint of gospel creeps in when it's called for, just a bit of soul-jazz creeps in when it's called for, and the ensemble alternately takes turns soloing through quick sections and working as a full ensemble for long melodic stretches of collective play. Though the compositions are nearly Mingus-like with a focus on the rhythm and soul of a number rather than the attention to virtuosity that has taken over much of the newest generation of players, the shining aspect of the album is the sheer exuberance of playing that comes from all parties. Even when subdued, or restrained by the song at hand, the players have a certain level of joy embedded in the passages that comes out remarkably well.
- Adam Greenberg, Writer, All Music Guide


"Mark O'Connor's CD, Suspended Reality, is a swinging collection of straight ahead jazz. Top notch musicianship, intriguing solos and quality original compositions make this a must-have CD for any fan of today's modern post bop jazz. "
- Chris Stawski, Host of Free Jazz BBQ, WMSE, Milwaukee

“Suspended Reality is another strong outing from Mark O'Connor. Mark continues to grow as a composer, bandleader and performer.

As a soloist, Mark's confident tenor playing makes every track worth the listen, whether a burner or a ballad.

Once again, Mark's thoughtful compositions stand out. I especially enjoy the up-tempo title track and the beautiful ballad Song for Betony, though it's best to listen to the cd from start to finish to appreciate the ebb and flow of Mark's tunes.

The band Mark has assembled for this session helps propel the tunes and provides plenty of support for Mark, Victor Garcia on trumpet and Ben Lewis on piano.

As a jazz airshifter on community radio WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign, Illinois for 20 years, I hear a lot of new releases from a lot of up and coming players. Mark's release definitely stands out from a lot of them and proves that jazz is still an art form that can produce solid efforts that add to the tradition, like Suspended Reality.

Make sure to get a copy of this cd and take any opportunity to hear Mark play live, to hear these compositions grow.”
- Jeff Machota, Radio DJ, WEFT, Champaign, IL

“The Mark O'Connor Quintet is a true musical pleasure!
The groups' newest CD, Suspended Reality, provides exactly that, a musical vacation from the tribulations of life. Five outstanding musicians share their considerable talents, blending beautifully together in ensemble and adding their own unique thoughts in soloing. The originals are interesting and well constructed.
The group was energetic and smiling noticeably throughout a recent outstanding performance at the Jazz Showcase...and so was the audience!!”
- Bruce Gibson, WRRG Local Jazz Focus, Chicago, IL


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