Mark Lewis Music

Free download of the month


Free MP3 Download of the Month

This month's free MP3 is Bells for Candy, from Mark's third album Border Crossing. It was written for drummer Otis C. "Candy" Finch, who was instrumental in Mark moving to the Netherlands with a one-way ticket, no contacts, and $500 when he was 20 years old. Candy, who had been Dizzy Gillespie's and Ernestine Anderson's drummer, thought that Mark would achieve greater recognition in Holland, especially for his original music. That turned out to be true. Before Mark left for Europe, Candy gave him a month of free lessons on how to work with time, playing on it, behind it and ahead of it. Candy told Mark he was giving him "the keys to the city" because he knew Mark would take good care of them. Mark became established in Holland then travelled back and forth between Audio Daddio offices in Rotterdam and Seattle. One time he had a concert at the Seattle Concert Theater and Candy was there in the back room. He told Mark he sounded good and he was very proud of him. He said he had to stay in the back. He couldn't show his face because of an altercation he had with his manager in order to get the pay that was owed to him. Candy told Mark,  "Always play like it's your last time, because it just might be." "Play like you mean it," he said. That turned out to be Candy's last words to Mark - he died of pneumonia the next day.

Mark has been playing Bells for Candy again lately. He opened a few concerts with it on his tours this year. He played it with Ray Ohls last week at Westside Pizza. The version in this month's free download was recorded live half-track by engineer Mark Willett for Thunder Oak Audio Records in Seattle in the early 1980's. Musicians are Mark Lewis on alto sax, Richard Person on trumpet, Jim Hobson on piano, Mikel Rollins on bass and Bob Merrihew (student of Candy Finch) on drums. Four of the six songs on the album Border Crossing were recorded in Seattle with Northwest musicians. The other two were recorded in Holland with Dutch musicians.

Last month's free MP3 is Child's Play, the second track from Mark's latest release The New York Session is still here. It features Mark on alto sax with legendary New York City musicians George Cables on piano, Essiet Essiet on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.  A publicist working on the album before it was finished interviewed Mark and wrote about each song. Here's what Mark said about Child's Play:  "I wanted to write a song that was fast, but with a melody that is simple and accessible to all levels of musicians. I want to inspire the younger musicians, not intimidate them. Also, it’s important to speak with the innocence and honesty of a child, especially when you play a solo. Your joy should be pure."

Guide to chord symbols          Bells for Candy pdf manuscript      Child's Play pdf manuscript

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