Mark McGrain. Photo: Noé Cugny

Mark McGrain Announces “Love, Time, And Divination” Album

Trombonist and composer Mark McGrain announced the February release of a new album featuring John Boutté and others. Love, Time, And Divination features new compositions, songbook standards and even a re-imagination of a Pink Floyd record. All 11 tracks were recorded at Esplanade Studio and cover everything from stride piano to bossa nova.

The track listing for Love, Time, And Divination and descriptions courtesy of of McGrain:

1. “As Time Goes By” –Hupfeld (6:55) New Orleans stride piano and trombone played with a plunger mute—a duet fit for any high-class gin joint or the parlor of Storyville’s finest bordellos.
2. “It All Comes Down To Love” –McGrain (4:00) A very cool and grooving overture featuring “the voice of Treme” John Boutté backed by piano, bass, and trombone.
3. “Blossom” –McGrain (3:30) Post-bop revisited—an up-tempo, swinging instrumental.
4. “3:27”–McGrain (5:38) Melodically lilting, rhythmically assuaging. Possibly the most memorable instrumental on the album.
5. “On The Turning Away” –Gilmour/Moore (4:08) An original arrangement of Pink Floyd’s stirring anthem to the Homeless and Destitute.  A powerful vocal backed by a brass trio—includes a very soulful trombone solo by McGrain.  *released as a single with album presales.
6. “Hola Brah” –McGrain (4:00) An up-beat Salsa instrumental.
7. “I Thought About You” –Van Heusen/Mercer (6:24) A head nodding, toe-tapping rendition of the romantic standard sung by John Boutté with muted trombone, piano, and bass.
8. “Étreinte Bleu (Paris’ Blue Embrace)” –McGrain (5:11) Reflective of Eric Satie, an impressionistic stroll along the banks of the Seine; trombone and piano duet.
9. “Arise” –McGrain (5:25) Up-tempo and swinging instrumental—modern jazz trio of trombone, piano, and bass.
10. “Love, Time, And Divination” –McGrain (5:58) A lyrical, instrumental rhumba by the trio.
11. “I Can’t Get Started” –Duke/Gershwin (5:30) After a fiery trombone introduction inspired by Bunny Barigan’s opening cadenza on the 1938 hit, it’s back to the trombone/piano duo that opened the album.

According to McGrain, the leader of critically acclaimed jazz group PLUNGE, the album signals a departure for him. “This is a collection of melodies and jazz improvisations based on each song’s form—atypically, I intentionally stayed inside the lines. The initial idea was to honor my aging parents by recording a few of their favorite songs from the 1930s and 40s.  In the course of things, I decided to compose new songs that reflect some of the harmonic traditions of that era.  Several years ago John Boutté asked me to do an arrangement of David Gilmour’s “On The Turning Away,” which is also included.  The abiding theme throughout this record is a celebration of the sentiment one feels when first moved by love, the sense of wonder as life gradually reveals itself, over time, and the optimism of the endless quest for the original idea; divining inspiration.”

Love, Time, And Divination arrives on Lundi Gras, February 12 on Immersion Records & Media IRM18-02.