York professors Mark Adams and
Jonathan Quash. Courtesy photos.
BY MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE
Mark Adams and Jonathan Quash have once again joined forces to bring fans a stellar CD. This latest effort from the multi-talented duo has become another instant fan favorite. Quash, a popular vocalist from Queens and Adams, an internationally respected jazz pianist, who also grew up in Queens, have shown with “Q & A,” this latest collaboration, that good things do in fact, come to those who wait. This CD was definitely worth fans’ patience.
The album also features some famous friends from the world of jazz — Ron Carter and Roy Ayers, whose contributions to the album are outstanding. There is also another jazz great who makes an “appearance” via a cool remake. Quash and Adams’ remake of the late Dave Brubeck’s classic, “In Your Own Sweet Way” is sublime. And if that weren’t enough, the duo also included the Jerome Kern standard, “All The Things You Are,” and Leonard Cohen’s “That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.”
But make no mistake, their original material such as “Come With Me,” “Life Goes On” and “What You Want” are also high points of the album; as is the spoken word contribution, “Crosswords,” by George White, a History professor and colleague of Quash and Adams who both moonlight as music professors at York College, CUNY.
Quash explained how this latest production came to fruition.
“The album concept, Q&A, which stands for Quash and Adams, stems from our idea of combining the two most prominent types of music which are instrumental and vocal,” said Quash.
“Combining Mark’s passion for playing and my love for singing, we developed a sound that attempts to please listeners on those two levels. Q&A is a new approach for us in that we try to tell a story in every song.”
Quash explained that sometimes that story can be told with a single melody from the piano and sometimes it comes from “the mellow delivery of a vocal line.”
“When we think of Q&A, which some know to be Question and Answer,” said Quash. “We attempt to answer with music the many questions life asks. This particular album, which is a follow-up from our previous collaboration, “Embellishments,” features Bill White on guitar, Gerald Lindsey on bass, Chris DeCarmine on drums; also with George White, Roy Ayers and Ron Carter as special guests. The album is a combination of smooth jazz and adult contemporary. There are tracks that will make you tap your feet and there are tracks to make you think.”
According to Quash the album is more than just music for enjoyment.
“Overall, the album tells a story of conflict followed by resolution; experiences that both Mark and I are sharing with the world,” said Quash. “The story begins with “Here We Go Again,” chronicling the struggles in life that seem to often repeat themselves, followed by several songs that represent challenges. The resolution begins with “Better Day,” suggesting that in time a better day will come. The story ends with a piano and vocal duet that affirms that ‘Life Goes On.”
When they are not teaching and collaborating, Quash and Adams are usually doing solo work. Quash was the musical director for the recent York College production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida and performs as a pianist and vocalist whenever he has time. As a pianist, Mark Adams has amassed a growing list of theatre credits from Broadway (The Color Purple” and “Five Guys Named Moe,”) Off-Broadway (“Keep Bangin,’” directed by dancer Savion Glover) to York College (“Rent” and “Dream Girls”).
He has also toured throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and worked with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop music – Roy Ayers, Dave Valentine, Lonnie Liston, Mary J. Blige, Lela Hathaway, Erykah Badu, Noel Pointer, Lou Rawls.
“Q & A” is a must-have for any music lover’s collection.