Feb 22: Studio 242 Recital Hall, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Feb 26: The Rex Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
Feb 27: The Rex Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
Feb 28: The Upstairs Jazz Club, Montreal, Quebec
Feb 29: The National Arts Center, Fourth Stage, Ottawa, Ontario
Mar 6: The Jazz Room, Waterloo, Ontario
Allison Au: alto saxophone
Matt Woroshyl: tenor saxophone
Chris Pruden: piano
Mark Godfrey: bass
Nick Fraser: drums
The minivan: a timeless icon that evokes memories ranging from little-league baseball games to nation-wide music tours. Square Peg is bassist and composer Mark Godfrey’s first full-length album, and it hits harder than the sliding door on your family caravan.
Named the 2019 Emerging Jazz Artist by the Toronto Arts Foundation, Mark has firmly secured himself in the fabric of the jazz idiom in Canada. Square Peg is Mark’s second release as a leader and features nine original compositions for jazz quintet and one original piece for solo bass. Joining Mark on this album are four of his longtime collaborators: saxophonists Allison Au and Matt Woroshyl, pianist Chris Pruden, and drummer Nick Fraser.
Square Peg is a collection of compositions that span four years of Mark’s life during which he found himself living in Toronto and New York. Naturally, the most efficient form of travel between these two cities with a double bass was his 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, Jean Claude Van Tan. The reflection that occurred during these drives sparked creativity and ideas for Mark that ultimately resulted in this album. The music on Square Peg connects Mark to his family and friends, both cities, and the deep tradition of jazz performance that informs and inspires his voice as an artist.
From the ethereal and ambient opening of Black Stars to the raw, acoustic solo performance of Bucket List, Square Peg takes the listener on a joyride that is both turbulent and relaxing and thoroughly engaging from start to finish. Buckle up.