Mushroom Jazz 1

Okay, first of all, the more I listen to Mark Farina, the more I think "this is one sick genius."

Mj 1 kicks off strong, building the layers smoothly, sweetly. Instant mental gratification.

The first prominent beat is tap-tap drum and wormy, outer-space contemporary jazz  waves lapping up against your ears.

Suddenly, you've swooped into the soulful voice of a female beckoning you "remember me ... I'm the one who has your baby's eyes." Repeated, magnetically, hauntingly.

Provocative? Quite--something primal, social, desparate yet matter-of-fact.

The beat picks up to a jog. The voice to a 'gang-ganga-gang-gang-gang-gang-gang.' Before you know it, you're singing out loud and wondering if anyone can see you through your car window.

Seriously--he's got you locked into her pleads. and if you let go, expression is irrisistable and deeply satisfying.

To repeat what I said in 6's review--Farina has an amazing way of blending the most disparate jazzical notions.

Interlude pulls you out of the passion and onto a light highway of flutes and horns--weaving through flowing traffic procured by the master himself.

Take the next exit--more soul, more voice, repetition of positive thoughts "pick me up, put me on, solid ground." Okay, you're there. And she's back, the one with your baby's eyes. But just for a second, just as a reminder.

The repitition is  a lot for some but never for me. He's keen on when to change it up, when to remind, when to give a single layer or seven. And they play so nicely together. Not a care in the world.

At around 35 minutes, the collection takes a sweeping turn into mystical territory that was entirely unfamiliar to my ears but nevertheless comforting and absolutely lifting. How to describe? There's an almost elevator-music quality to one, single strand ... but that's not how it ends up feeling because he blends it with female voices and dots it with flowery patches while supporting it with ocean-beat downtempo.

The rest, well, just listen to it ... put it on at a party, when you're reading, when you're driving, when you want to have a good conversation or just get away from a day of confusion.

This collection just makes sense--brilliant musical beads strung along an inspiring, down-tempo necklace.

I jumped from volume 6 to volume 1 because I was so impressed that I decided to get the whole collection and start chronologically. MJ 1 has not disappointed. My allegience is only deepened.