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MUSIC - Mark Rapp - jazz trumpeter and composer

Good Eats Review  -   The Song Project  -   Braden-Rapp  -  
Token Tales Review  -   OneSheet  -   Videos


Mark is originally from South Carolina, he began playing trumpet in the sixth grade. It was an off-on endeavor but he stuck with it. His musical prowess in high school earned him a music scholarship to attended Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina but he left after a few months. He returned to college at Winthrop University in South Carolina where he received his degree. After graduating he moved to New Orleans to study music with Ellis Marsalis while earning a Masters in Jazz from the University of New Orleans. Mark moved to New York to cast his fate to the musical winds there. It was difficult times in the beginning but his music carried him through.

His "reputation has grown to the extent that many of today’s top artists want him in their bands. Included in this list are rockers like Darius Rucker, Hootie & The Blowfish, Edwin McCain and Sister Hazel. From the jazz side artists Rapp has worked with include Walter Blanding Jr., Don Braden, Gerald Clayton, Wess Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Seamus Blake, John Ellis and Rodney Green, among others. With such a pedigree it’s no surprise Rapp received a standing ovation following his performance at the 2008 Newport Jazz Festival appearance. Other recent performances include the JVC Newport Jazz, Jazztime Festival (Croatia), Sonoma Wine & Song Festival and the WC Handy Jazz festivals, as well as club appearances at New York locales like the Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Room to Yoshi’s in San Francisco." - Quotes are excerpts from Dr. Thomas Erdmann's book "How Jazz Trumpeters Understand Their Music: Twenty-Seven Interviews" published by Edwin Mellen Press, Fall 2009

Mark's musical skills has shown him to be one of the "new breed of young trumpeters coming down the road.  The resultant music they create melds and brings together the radio music of their youth with the history of their horn to find fresh ways to approach and fashion a style of playing more oriented toward groove without losing modern approaches to upper chordal harmonic structures so prevalent in the jazz music of the late 20th century."  Mark is seen to be  "one of the best examples of the direction being taken by this new breed". - Bio Mark Rapp website

In 2011, Mark and Don Braden (Braden-Rapp) released on CD: The Music of Billy Strayhorn titled "The Strayhorn Project" recorded with Gerald Clayton and Sachal Vasandani.

Mark Rapp and Derek Lee Bronston are the two halves of TSP (The Song Project) performing "unique arrangements of popular songs by bands as diverse as Radiohead, AC/DC and Tears for Fears, as well as original compositions. The genre in a broader sense, can be called jazz and is a blend of improvisation, singer/songwriter, rock, ambient sound and even includes a taste of New Orleans. Trumpeter Mark Rapp says, the music is "filled with great melodies. From jazz to rock to country to whatever, it’s honest, soulful expression that is our goal.' Guitarist Derek Lee adds, 'We explore the art of the song both written and improvised.'” - parts excerpted from the web Applum notes on http://www.thesongproject.net/the-song-project-applum/

GOOD EATS:

Mark Rapp - Good Eats (2011)

"Legendary saxophonist Lou Donaldson doesn't subscribe to a one-size-fits-all approach in his own music making. His oeuvre, which spans more than half a century, touches on bop, hard bop, soul-jazz, and funk, with each setting allowing for a different aspect of his musical personality to shine. In crafting a tribute to Donaldson, trumpeter Mark Rapp honors this diversity and organic amalgam of music by touching on various styles, as he works his way through Donaldson's catalog."   ~ DAN BILAWSKY - allaboutjazz.com

THE SONG PROJECT:

Mark Rapp and Derek Lee Bronston

The Applum (AP), is a digital album that hearkens back to the vinyl era but with all the accolades and elegance of the digital age.

"Art of the Song, vol. 1 contains unique arrangements of popular songs by bands as diverse as Radiohead, AC/DC and Tears for Fears, as well as four original compositions. The genre in a broader sense, can be called jazz and is a blend of improvisation, singer/songwriter, rock, ambient sound and even includes a taste of New Orleans. Trumpeter Mark Rapp says, 'The tracks are filled with great melodies. From jazz to rock to country to whatever, it’s honest, soulful expression that is our goal.' Guitarist Derek Lee adds, 'We explore the art of the song both written and improvised.”     - from the web Applum notes....

BRADEN-RAPP: THE STRAYHORN PROJECT:

A Tribute to the Music of Billy Strayhorn

from the liner notes....
This pairing of veteran saxophonist-flutist Don Braden and promising young trumpeter Mark Rapp is an inspired coupling. It is successful not only due to their considerable skills and by the enormity of the book Billy Strayhorn left here for us to learn, but also by the wisdom of their discerning manager Gail Boyd. It’s not often that a stable of artists comes together in such an easeful manner that artistically exceeds any sense of crass commercial considerations, but this proves to be an exceptional idea. “Our project is unique because unlike most performances of Strayhorn’s music, we made particular efforts to give the tunes creative, unusual yet contemporary treatments,” insists Don Braden. From the jump that goal is achieved as their novel approach to “Rain Check” kicks off the date with New Orleans second line echoes. This sense of old wine/new bottles was confirmed in communications with Braden, who insists that “We have re-harmonized, re-rhythmized, and even re-melodized some of his great classics, bending and shaping them with elements from throughout the jazz tradition. We also present textural elements that aren’t typical, such as the groove and vibe on “Isfahan,” which is robust and dramatic, “or the use of the alto flute in relatively rare solo mode” on “Daydream”, Braden asserts. “Isfahan” is further enlivened by a bit of polyphony between Braden and Rapp. For his arrangement of “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” Braden borrows gently from Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly.”   
By Willard Jenkins - www.openskyjazz.com - Home of The Independent Ear

CD REVIEW:

Mark Rappp - Token Tales (2009)

“Mark Rapp’s debut album Token Tales shows many different facets of this trumpeter’s pioneering ways as he crafts a smooth jazz relaxer in “Thank You,” jumps into a funky rapport with his band in “Who’s The Man?” and articulates creamy soul-jazz lifts along “Mr. Tricky.” These are just some of Rapp’s skills at the top of his spreadsheet. He never runs out of ideas about where to take his compositions, whether he is being experimental and engages in some free-style acrobatics like along “Cissy Strut,” or sticks to a traditional jazz keister and classic soaring riffs like in the title track.”    Susan Frances - Jazz Times

ONESHEET:

Mark Rappp - Token Tales (2009)

VIDEOS:

Mark Rapp & Derek Lee Bronson are TSP perfroming "Aoife" |
The Song Project (Joe's Pub)

ColaJazz - “Ronda” with Mark Rapp: trumpet, Jonathan Lovett: piano, Dustin Retzlaff: bass and Jay Ware: pandeiro, vibraphone

Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson & Mark Rapp present the music of “Sweet Pappa” Lou Donaldson

Mark Rapp on Lou Donaldson's "Brother Soul" |
Good Eats CD Release Show (Scullers)

Mark Rapp Group  live at L'AMR aux Cropettes 2009, Cissy Strut