““J'OURVET” TOM BERICH and THOMAS MACKAY Vibraphonist Thomas Mackay has teamed with steel pan player Tom Berich to produce “Jourvet,” a tasty collection of grooving tunes, no doubt inspired by the native vibes of their local surroundings: the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The pair has chosen a decidedly different format than the norm, assembling a band of vibraphone, steel drums, bass and drums—no keyboard, no guitar. This gives the music an original touch, as Mackay and Berich take turns accompanying each other with chords, filling the sonic space that would normally be occupied by one of the aforementioned “mainstay” instruments. The record kicks off with “Suk-Kyo’s Samba,” which begins with a riff voiced in fourths, doubled by vibes and pan. It’s an effective opening, as it is clear from the beginning this is going to be a grooving affair, in the island-flavored tradition of steel pan icon Andy Narell. Berich demonstrates a nice sense of dynamics, phrasing melo”
“This is a collection of nice Island/Reggae relaxed grooves and melodies which fit the style well. T.M. alternates between simple harmonies and a few "sharp elbows" once in awhile to keep everyone on their toes, which I like! Also like for instance in #4 Reflections an interlude section which has a good accellerando and increase in the velocity/intensity of the playing. That is a very nice concept which I also want to use more frequently. The sound quality of this recording was my favorite, all four instruments have a very good sound and presence. Also want to say that I liked the bass, drums and pans; what they did and how they did it. Good players all, Very effective and stylistically right on target. Good and Tasty!”
“J'ourvet sounds great bro! Nice fat vibes sound and the timbre of vibes and steel pan is deliscious. Recording is crisp and nice variety in the material. Rhythm section is crispy! I kept thinking Donald Fagen was going to sing on a "Buzz" and "Dem Feel Good". Congrats. Bill Ware ( Steely Dan, Jazz Passengers, Groove Collective)”
““Examples include ‘Afterthought’, the opening track on Jackson, and ‘Sphereology’, on which spare, economic work by Mackay maintains the ‘vibes song’ feel. But just when you’re enjoying the application of vibes as a rhythmic, structural component, Mackay steps out and rips, the title track on Jackson being a shining example of the vibes soloist unleashed. — John D’Agostino, host of Johnny D’s Jazz Journal on KSDS-FM/Jazz88.3 in San Diego, CA, and former music columnist for the Los Angeles Times”
"What especially comes across in every track of this recording is the uplifting spirit and positive energy that Thomas and the band members bring to the table." Ed Saindon (World acclaimed vibist/ Educator, Berklee College of Music)
“Music is a conversation”
" Thomas is truly one of the most gifted vibes players in the Pacific Northwest area"
" For Thomas Mackay one thing stands between him and his beloved vibraphone: Gluten."
" Thomas owes an obvious debt to the great Bobby Hutcherson. With a clear tone, strong chops and good ideas he is also reminiscent of modern vibes masters Bryan Carrott and Joe Locke.A fine debut from a fellow Oregonian." -
"Jackson" is the newest release of The Mackay Project. On this CD you will find some wonderful grooves, beautiful ballads, and new compositions by Thomas Mackay. You will enjoy this CD for its variety of music and great playing.
"There's an active jazz scene in the Rogue Valley," Mackay says. "Jazz buffs should know that they can come out and listen to music on a regular basis. Myself, I like seeing a line of horn players waiting to get on stage and play. I want everyone out on Tuesday nights listening to the Jazz Collective at Howiee's."