ON YOUR maRK 1
(Source: maRK – Facebook)

On Saturday, maRK plays The Fringe Club to launch their EP and though the venue and sound system give me the chilly willies, I won’t miss this gig for the world.

ON YOUR maRK 2
(Source: Tripass)

This young quartet of musicians who know their jazz and their music is the type of group to make a documentary about and the type of act Blue Note used to record.

ON YOUR maRK 3
(Source: Paster Magazie)

Each musician is superb in their own right. Together they are brilliant. YouTube videos don’t do them justice.

What they play is not “background Jazz” nor is it play-by-the-numbers Jazz not is it that lazy, hazy, ultra-boring so-calked “jazz-funk” made up of endless doodling solos by instrumentalists who have become fat and lazy with age and are happy to coast and end up gigging at Peel Fresco to audiences who applaud like chimpanzees after every tiresome solo no matter how tepid the playing might be. Not maRK.

They are visually interesting ‘cos they’re so damn young to understand this particular genre of music and this draws you in to listen to the playing- all very tasteful and where I can see and hear the “new, improved” Norah Jones fitting in- the more Danger Moused Norah and no longer “Snorah.”

Of course, those who have seen maRK know that the focus of attention is Anna Fan- a diminutive Smurfette in Hong Kong via Boston.

Sure, a female drummer is unusual and a young Chinese female drummer even more so. But Anna Fan is no gimmick.

ON YOUR maRK 4

She is the real deal and was recently recruited into the excellent Ben Semmens Band comprising the Welsh singer-songwriter who has raised the bar when it comes to music at the HKJC’s Happy Wednesday nights at the Beer Garden and Adrenaline along with Aussie saxophonist Blaine Whittaker, bass guitarist Ray from Philly and Pido, an excellent singer-guitarist and so damn under-used and underrated in Hong Kong.

THE BEN SEMMENS BAND WHY HONG KONG NEEDS THEM 11

These seasoned musicians don’t “carry” my favorite Smurfette. She drives them- pushes the music, shades it and drives it home.

Watching the sheer joy of playing between Anna and Ray is infectious. It’s a mutual admiration society- the experienced Sorcerer and Apprentice with musical role reversals taking place onstage and the two musicians lost in the music.

ON YOUR maRK 5

Hong Kong is a tough place for musicians- jazz or Adult Contemporary musicians- unless guitarist Eugene Pao, Ted Lo or Howard McCreary who are never short of a gig.

For others, other than being side musicians, it’s tough going. Either that or join the hotel lounge circuit to pay the rent.

For maRK, everything seems far more brighter. They are young enough not to be jaded and cool enough to be inventive.

Sure, they need guidance and A&R direction, but all the parts to create a complete whole that can tour Singapore, Shanghai, Indonesia, Japan, the States, and the big Jazz festivals and markets in Europe plus catch the eye and ear of a multi-media creative icons like a David Lynch.

ON YOUR maRK 6
(Source: The Richest)

I don’t know what it is, but there is a very Big Picture plan awaiting maRK.

I can feel it and so will you when you see them.