The Chronicles of Fezziwig (Self Released)

The Mark Kelso Jazz Project

Released September 19, 2019

Juno Award Nominee Jazz Album of the Year: Solo 2020



Mark Kelso is an award-winning Jazz drummer who has worked with artists such as Donny McCaslin, Pat Metheny, Holly Cole, Gino Vannelli and numerous others. As the leader of the Juno nominated Jazz Exiles, Mark is no stranger to the world of music. Playing in every genre from Jazz to Pop to Latin to Orchestral, Mark has been able to finesse his technique as a drummer and composer, as well as open himself up to a wide variety of influences. The Chronicles of Fezziwig is the new solo project from Mark Kelso. Featuring all original music, this project is a departure from the Fusion styles of the Jazz Exiles, and instead explores a more traditional style. It once again shows the versatility of Mark Kelso as a musician, composer, and leader. Having spent much of his time being a sideman, the Mark Kelso Jazz Project has allowed Mark to come into his own as a bandleader and writer, even from behind the kit. Joined by an all-star cast featuring Pat LaBarbera, Mike Downes, Ted Quinlan, Brian Dickinson, and Gordon Sheard, the Mark Kelso Jazz Project has a clean, tight sound that is a delight to the ears.

Track Listing:

1. The Chronicles of Fezziwg 04:30

2. Elliptical 05:55

3. Ghost 07:44

4. Infinity Waltz 06:22

5. Sound Barrier 07:04

6. A Message from Idris 05:09

7. Gravitational Pull 05:44

8. Pinwheel 06:35

9. A Refraction of Light 06:55

10. Shine 03:30


Mark Kelso: drums, vocals and compositions
Pat LaBarbera: tenor sax
Mike Downes: acoustic bass
Ted Quinlan: electric guitar
Gordon Sheard: acoustic piano (1, 6-10)
Brian Dickinson: acoustic piano (2-5)

Recorded at Modica Music Studio, Toronto, ON, except tracks 2 and 9 recorded at Humber Studios, Toronto, ON

Produced by Mark Kelso

Recording and Mixing Engineering: Andrew Mullin

Mastering: Reuben Ghose

Cover Design by YuGoGirl design

Cover Artwork: “Shapeshifter” by Brooke Palmer


Could this musical yarn of Fezziwig, whose chronicles the Mark Kelso Jazz Project so expertly spin, hark back to a character from the novel A Christmas Carol created by Charles Dickens? If the time and circumstance of Dickens’ story and our time were to inhabit similar capsules, then the jovial, foppish man with a large Welsh wig might just as well be evoked by this breathtakingly effervescent music for our rather dark times, to sweep away the turmoil of our century into a Green Revolution, just as the character in Dickens’ story did at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution.

Opening the fold-over package to get to The Chronicles of Fezziwig we read the words: “Inspire creativity.” This is the kind of spark that Kelso’s drumming inevitably provides whenever he becomes the rhythmic and catalytic pivot in any ensemble. Here too, the electrifying drummer plays that role in this sextet. In Fezziwig’s character, Kelso’s songs can be quirky (Elliptical), elegiac (A Message from Idris), mesmerizing (Pinwheel) and more. Each song evolves into a gripping narrative evoked by a riveting melody laced with glorious harmony. The rippling jazz grooves that ensue gently build into boppish saxophone and piano runs, launched, of course, by Kelso’s broodingly percussive funky and tumbling rhythms.

The ensemble includes heavyweight musicians: saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, guitarist Ted Quinlan, pianists Gordon Sheard and Brian Dickinson, and bassist Mike Downes, all of whom interpret Kelso’s vivid works idiomatically.

Raul da Gama (The WholeNote)