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Samuel Mösching: Ethereal Kinks

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Samuel Mösching: Ethereal Kinks
Two words that frequently get overused when talking about jazz are "fusion" and "eclectic." In many cases, if something is difficult to categorize, one of these terms will probably apply. Unfortunately, in many cases, these terms also fail to truly capture the essence of the music. However, for Samuel Mösching's Ethereal Kinks, both eclectic and fusion seem very appropriate, and this becomes evident upon listening.

Mösching is a Swiss-born guitarist who started playing guitar when he was ten and later began playing bass and drums too. Although much of his musical education centered on classical music, his main interest was jazz, and he gained recognition as part of the group Sonic Fusion. He later moved to Chicago and has worked with artists such as Rusty Jones, Ed Wilkerson, and John Stowell.

Ethereal Kinks was recorded during the pandemic, and Mösching plays most of the instruments himself. However, three songs feature guest musicians; Renda "Victoria" Jackson is featured on bass on "No Dancing," Juan Pastor plays drums on "Modesta," and Jerimiah Hunt plays bass and Reuben Gingrich plays drums on "Winnemac." These artists are skilled musicians, but Mösching also proves himself an excellent multi-instrumentalist.

While the album's compositions would definitely qualify as fusion, do not expect Mahavishnu Orchestra here. Although Mösching has some serious chops, this is not the place to be looking for shredding. Instead, Mösching's guitar style is closer to that of players such as Julian Lage or Terje Rypdal. Ethereal Kinks has some very cool melodic chord melodies and tasty phrasing throughout.

There are also some definite influences at work here, but they are subtly blended in, resulting in more nuanced passages than direct references. "The Belief in Magic," for example, is an upbeat song which has definite hints of psychedelia. This is one of the standout moments on the album, and it sounds as if it could easily be a jam band staple.

Other tracks on the album also reference popular music in a somewhat indirect manner. The song "No Dancing" definitely has a late-seventies smooth jazz, almost yacht-rock vibe, which is both nostalgic and fun. The very short, "Strict Dancer" sounds as if it could have been inspired by some early eighties Roxy Music songs. Mösching features elements of blues, soul, and folk here as well.

In spite of its eclectic nature, the music on Ethereal Kinks is a unique reflection of Mosching's complexity as both a performer and composer. The album never seems disjointed or confusing. This is an enjoyable combination of styles which emphasize Mösching's diverse talent as an artist.

Track Listing

No Dancing; Beauty And The Beast Roleplay; Disconnect; Mental Illness; Modesta; Strict Dancer; Winnemac; Indigenous; Melanie; Better Than Me; The Belief In Magic

Personnel

Album information

Title: Ethereal Kinks | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Bronzeville Music


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