Artist and Music News

Gabriel Mark Hasselbach’s ‘Tongue & Groove’ Drops June 4

 May 28, 2021

By  ExoticDJ

He’s spent more weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart than any other Canadian recording artist and with his 15th album, “Tongue & Groove,” set to drop June 4, trumpeter/flugelhornist/flautist Gabriel Mark Hasselbach looks to land his eleventh Billboard hit. The Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings release is preceded by “Chill@Will,” the current radio single that Hasselbach wrote and produced with urban-jazz keyboardist Bob Baldwin.       

The release of “Tongue & Groove” coincides with the 30th anniversary of Hasselbach’s debut disc, “Solar Winds,” which launched an award-winning catalogue consisting of contemporary and straight-ahead jazz recordings. 

“‘Tongue & Groove’ is definitely my most in-depth and exciting album to date. I love improvised jazzy music in a framework, that is lyrical and succinct, not overly extrapolated or excessive. I come from a Chet Baker/Blue Mitchell frame of reference, laid over contemporary grooves and original concepts. I always aim for strong and concise content in whatever I play. It is all just jazz to me, the essence which should be a rich yet highly listenable sound for the head, heart and feet,” said the Vancouver-based Hasselbach, a Juno Award winner (Canada’s GRAMMY equivalent). 

Hasselbach wrote and recorded “Tongue & Groove” last year while in quarantine, an experience reflected in the first two cuts: Presence of Mind and Chill@Will. 

Chill@Will features Bob Baldwin. check it out below.

“The first two tunes had a bit of a theme. We can - and had to – keep the mind present and calm during the pandemic. When Bob Baldwin and I started working on ‘Chill@Will,’ we built it from the vibe up, and the music just fell into place. It started out as a sketch from Bob, which I did a little work on to move it forward. The tune sat around for a while but kept scratching at the door because it was so catchy. I took up the cause again and pressed the ever-busy Mr. Baldwin into service so we could help it see the light of day. Many of my top charting tracks, as well as some of Bob's, are collaborations between us,” said Hasselbach.

“Tongue & Groove” also features collaborations with other noteworthy musicians such as two-time GRAMMY winner Paul Brown and Billboard chart-topper Chris Standring on guitar. Another guitarist showcased on the disc is Grant Geissman, who played and recorded with contemporary jazz legend Chuck Mangione. Geissman guests on Hasselbach’s vibrant revision of the classic “Feels So Good.”   

“I wanted to honor Chuck Mangione and thus be known as ‘the flugelhornist of today’ as was Chuck back in the day. Mesa/Bluemoon label head George Nauful knows Grant Geissman, the guitarist on the original. When George hooked us up, it seemed like kismet. Grant even played the exact 1968 Gibson guitar he used on that session with Mangione, and I play the same model and vintage flugelhorn, too, coincidentally,” said Hasselbach, who also spotlights saxophonist and co-songwriter Daniel Seguin, guitarist Brian Hughes and pianist/organist Miles Black on “Tongue & Groove.”   

As for the album title, Hasselbach said, “The title is at minimum a double entendre. In woodworking, tongue and groove refers to interlocking, smooth and seamless assembly or construction, and trumpeters tongue their notes, and in my case, also nail the groove.”

Hasselbach wrote or co-wrote eight funky jazz grooves for “Tongue & Groove” and produced or co-produced the tracks. Generously clocking in at over an hour and containing two remixes, “Chill@Will (Raincoast Mix)” and “Feels So Good (Extended Mix),” “Tongue & Groove” is a soul-powered R&B and instrumental pop session piloted by Hasselbach’s flugelhorn, flute, alto flute and trumpet. His animated horns astutely maneuver through percussive rhythms, textured beats and lush harmonies, blowing expressive communications, impassioned poetics and playful banter.         

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