Mark Simon couples jazz experience with a myriad of jazz influences to create a style of playing and writing that offers a mature outlook while pushing his work out to the edge.
Simon, a Chicago-born Cub fan, has been playing jazz for over 30 years, starting somewhat inauspiciously by playing along with old Jazz At The Philharmonic records from his father’s massive and eclectic record collection, which ran the gamut from early jazz master Louis Armstrong to avant-garde Cecil Taylor. By 13, Mark was listening to Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Roy Eldridge and other jazz legends while his school chums were gearing up to Led Zeppelin.
“A regular with Leroy Vinnegar’s trio, Simon branches out on his own with a sophisticated, lyrical album called “Portland Nights.” Paul Mazzio’s fluid flugelhorn and trumpet lines highlight Simon’s lovely compositional sense, while the Dave Captein/Gary Hobbs rhythm section adds a sensitive spark.”
- Marty Hughley - The Oregonian
“Local piano virtuoso Mark Simon sent me his debut CD Portland Nights and it’s a superior effort. Mark composed and arranged all eight songs and utilized the talents of popular sidemen well-known to this area. Although each song is superb, my favorites are Hometown Blues, Sunday Rain and Portland Nights.”
- Bonnie Carter - Positively Entertainment
Mark is an eloquent and energetic player and composer in the bebop tradition