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MP3 mark abis - changing inside

Beautifully unpretentious acoustical singer-songwriting. "My vote for one of the best of the new generation."
(Joe Boyd)

11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modernistic Folk, JAZZ: Jazz Vocals

changing inner Songs

Introducing Mark Abis, British author, composer and folk musician who has put together a compilation of his best work since 1995. He is essentially a sincere man with a brilliant voice that is not only soft and warm, but is also particularly sensual.

The voice is usually accompanied by a lone acoustical guitar when it is not supported by arrangements which are either ethereal or have richer bluesy strains.

Everything slips delicately into place as you listen. The melodies are straightforward and refined. Dream Come True and Steppin' Out are truly likeable, and could have been written especially for those comfortable evenings spent around a good fire in great company. One is reminded of the subtle minimalism of Nick Drake's seminal and sensitive Pink Moon.

Despite this, Abis doesn't confine himself to intimate folk and somehow manages to emerge as a true, bluesy folk band with a sprinkle of orchestral arrangements.

The addition of backing vocals, 70's style keyboards and bass give pronounced bluesy tones, which can be heard in Through The Heart Of New York featuring the hazy tenor sax of Eg White, a musician who shows a forever evolving instrumental dexterity and who happily takes on several different fundamental roles to complement the seemingly calm & uncomplicated character of Mark Abis.

As in Stronger Than Desire, the use of harmonica can always bring a sophisticated touch of blues.

Gently out of kilter with the other tracks on the album, Changing Inside and Heaven Is Your Face have more of a Pop feel. Less intimate and withdrawn than the other songs, they are no less indispensable for their light-heartedness, and breathe a bit of variety into the compilation.

"Going back to the mid-Sixties, I've heard more than any one man's fair of singer-songwriters, so it takes a lot to get my attention. Mark Abis got my attention. His melodies are original, his voice warm and distinctive, a real musical sensibility is obvious, with literate lyrics to boot. My vote for one of the best of the new generation."
Joe Boyd (Record Producer. Credits : Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, Sandy Denny)

"Beautiful Songs" (Resonance 104.4 FM)

The Magic Café (Published in The Oxford Night shift written by Colin May)
Londoner Mark Abis used to have a pitch on the Portobello Road selling oriental carpets, so it seemed right that one of his first Oxford gigs is the Magic Café. This is not an easy one for any musician. While the lunchtime live music slot here is well established, most people come to eat and only a very few to really listen. Mark is a singer songwriter with an easy laid-back presence. His staple is mellow, slightly melancholic cool folk. His easy on the ear fluid singing is backed by plenty of variety in his guitar and harmonic playing. But he does have more than one style. The opening number, the optimistic, 'Steppin' Out', has an appealing jazz and off beat feel. Other songs possess strong echoes of the Bob Dylan of 'Blood on the Tracks' and 'Desire' in both Mark's singing and his harmonica riffs. His evocative love song, 'Summer Breeze', as sung by Emiliana Torrini featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer; for his version today, Mark's voice barely rises above a tender whisper. It matches the words but is almost drowned by the clatter of cutlery. This is a low-key performance that hints of more to come. Even so by half way through the set Mark's charming applause from all corners of the previously disconnected café crowd.

"It was recorded and produced mainly by Eg White (recent ivor novello winner for a UK no1.) He worked on it though simply because he liked what I was writing rather than any commercial expectations. He heard me just around the period when I was singing a lot at the troubadour in earls court in the early 90's. Regulars at this club at that time were Keziah Jones and the Hank dogs." (MA)

Mark Abis is a world-class writer and musician, who spins out his cautionary tales, luring the listener into a spiral of self-reflection and visualization.

Though the resonance of his musical style is reminiscent of the great revolutionary songsmiths of the 60s and 70s, his songs are of today, tackling 21st century issues, drawing on various philosophical ideas cleverly woven into the lyrics and reflected in his performance.

The themes of our time are sometimes dark but, listening to Mark, the light of hope and a love of life always seem to emerge. He is spiritually grounded by a strong sense of responsibility to face life's vicissitudes, to endure and to find a pathway through.

"Like with Summerbreeze, Mark Abis wrote that song. And he was in the kitchen and I didn't even know he wrote. We were having coffee and suddenly I got hyper-dramatic. The sun was shining and I got this high feeling and I was like 'Oh! I have to have this song that's like the sun coming up on your face...' and he was like 'Oh? I have a song...' And he sang that song and I almost died. " (Emiliana Torrini)

"Summerbreeze" - covers and compilation credits
Emiliana Torrini - "Love in the time of science" - One Little Indian (1999)
Musique de Nuit Vol 5 - Virgin/Labels France (2000)
Meter Sessies Vol 10 - Universal Holland (2001)
Chilled - Hot Tickets/Associated Newspapers Ltd (2002)
The Late Lounge - Jazz FM Records (2002)

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