Mark Winkler: Late Bloomin’ Jazzman

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Mark Winkler

Late Bloomin’ Jazzzman

(Café Pacific Records)

May 29, 2022

Reviewed by Mary Bogue

On Late Bloomin’ Jazzman, the most recent of his 20 CDs over a 40-year span, Mark Winkler has assembled a team of superlative musicians to support this spectacular achievement of jazz, bossa, film noir, and movie-track-worthy ballads. Winkler has written eight of the 12 tracks.
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His voice is better than ever; it’s refined, pleading, cool, inviting, and full, and he pays 100% attention paid to the lyrics. Ah, the truth of it all.

Winkler never pushes the lyrics; he exudes them, and those that he wrote are astounding. He takes this opportunity to pair life’s exquisite lessons that can be revealed only by living long enough to develop reflections on life with melodies that keep us tuned in.

Offering 12 songs, the last of which is “If Gershwin Had Lived,” (David Lucky/Mark Winkler), I can’t help but believe that if Mr. Gershwin had lived long enough to hear the sweetness of these lyrics, those of “Old Enough” (Jamieson Trotter/Winkler), and the most tender piece, “In Another Way” (Michele Bourman/Winkler)—he would have been deeply moved. It seems these gentlemen share a rarified energy.

Superbly shaped by Winkler’s longtime producer Barbara Brighton, this CD offers everything— swinging, sentimental, romantic—that one would expect to be celebrated on Broadway, or at the very least as a recurring TV soundtrack. It’s that good.

Go ahead, explore Winkler at for videos and more on the creation of this outstanding recording the features the finest musicians in Los Angeles. Marvel at the mastery of guitarist Grant Geissman and pianists Jamieson Trotter, David Benoit, Bill Cantos, Rich Eames, and Jon Mayer. The incredible bass stylings of John Clayton and Gabe Davis keep things lush, while Christian Euman and Clayton Cameron set the beat on drums. Bob Sheppard on sax and flute inspires. Nolan Shaheed on flugelhorn is perfect, and percussionist Kevin Winard fills in with a gentle power. This is a master class in jazz

Late Bloomin’ Jazzman continues to climb the charts, garnering radio time for some of the unexpected tunes, and it will delight you. If you happen to direct, produce, or sing, you’re encouraged to give a listen to the masterful lyrics here; Mr. Gershwin would approve.

Mary Bogue

Born to upstate New York parents Nelson Binner and Gladys Witt, Mary Bogue was the fourth of five children. Her love of acting was apparent early in her life, when she acted out imagined scenes in the second story hallway of their home on Division Street. Moving to California in 1959 only fueled the fire and soon she tried out and got the part in Beauty and the Beast, a children's production at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. The bug followed her into junior and high school productions, but when she struck out on her own in the early 70s, she found it wasn't as easy as sitting at the world famous Schwab's on Sunset. Her first audition stopped her dead in her tracks for years when the "casting director" expected nudity. It was only in 1990 that she returned to her first love, albeit slowly as she was a caregiver to 16 foster daughters. Only when she was cast in Antonio Bandera's directorial debut, Crazy in Alabama (1999)(which she was cut from) did she pursue this dream.