Mark O’Connor is a Musical Chameleon
Describing Mark O’Connor to someone unfamiliar with him is akin to explaining wind to someone who has never been outside. Just like wind can be anything from a gentle breeze to a hurricane, Mark O’Connor is an American bluegrass/country/classical/jazz/folk/fiddler/violinist/composer/music teacher/author.
- He has recorded his Americana Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony and conductor Marin Alsop,
- His 2nd and 3rd String Quartets with Ida Kavafian, Paul Neubauer, and Matt Haimovitz
- and his Double Violin Concerto with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
- Then there’s swing music on his recording Hot Swing with Frank Vignola and John Burr
- a folk-inspired recording with Carol Cook and Natalie Haas who, with O’Connor, comprise the Appalachia Waltz Trio,
- and March of the Gypsy Fiddler, a triple concerto he wrote for the Ahn Trio and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
That was premiered as part of ProMusica’s gala concert last May in the Southern Theatre in Columbus, Ohio.
So, how do you top all of this? How about a good old Jam Session? That’s the name of O’Connor’s latest recording which, for this listener, is just sheer musical joy from start to finish. O’Connor teams with some of music’s best improvisational players: Chris Thile on mandolin, Frank Vignola and Bryan Sutton on guitar, and Jon Burr and Byron House on bass.
For the absolute joy of music making (and listening), it doesn’t get any better than this.