Mark O'Connor

On the Mark

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Top touring and session violinist O'Connor (formerly of The Dixie Dregs) is indeed right on the mark with this lovely, melodic collection that can be summed up in three words -- sweet, sweeter, and sweetest. The virtuoso seems to be aiming for a pop/country crossover, with running times all under five minutes and a guest vocal by James Taylor, but who can argue when the music is this darn enjoyable? John Jarvis' piano and keyboards prove most effective on the harmonies of "March of the Pharoahs" and the romance of "Miniatures," and Michael Brecker gets to blow his heart out on daring pieces like "Get Set, Go" and the Old West movie chase music of "We're Surrounded." O'Connor's playing is smooth, lush yet urgent throughout, and above all, there's an air of excitement that would continue on through a series of eclectic dates in the '90s.

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