127

Ras Moshe: Into the Openess

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Ras Moshe is on the forefront of musicians keeping avant-garde jazz urgent and vital. Moshe comes blessed with a jazz pedigree: his grandfather played with Lucky Millinder, Earl Bostic, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others, and his father worked with Carlos Garnett, Stanley Cowell, and other musicians in the new music scene in Brooklyn. As a result Moshe is well versed in jazz’s past, but he uses his knowledge to envision the future. And he’s bringing as many musicians with him as he can: Moshe is founder of Music Now!, a roving festival that regularly produces some of New York City’s most exciting concerts.

Into the Openess features Moshe and the Music Now Unit, the cream of the festival’s considerable talent: trumpeter Matt Lavelle, bassists Matt Heyner and Todd Nicholson, drummer Jackson Krall, and guitarist Tor Snyder. All four compositions are by Moshe, and all testify to his powerful playing and musical craftmanship. Lavelle plays on the first three songs, and it’s a pleasure to hear such simpatico musicians. The trumpet and saxophone have been a classic pairing for most of jazz’s history, and Moshe and Lavelle provide a contemporary version as they incite each other through the songs. They’re supported by the talented Todd Nicholson, who demonstrates impressive drive, as well as Jackson Krall, who plays with strength, agility, and unfaltering excellence.

The last song, “Journey Through the Cosmic Blue Night Forest Parts 1-5,” deserves special mention. Moshe, Snyder, Heyner, and Krall take the music way out, mixing in everything from electronica to Jimi Hendrix to a barking dog. The piece dives right into interstellar space, taking the listener on a journey that explores freedom, the spiritual life, and any and all ideas about music. As Moshe states in the liner notes, “We make art out of everything.”

The recording delivers what the title promises: it opens the listener’s heart and ears, and it does so with some of the freshest sounds available on CD. Moshe, who is in his mid-30s, gets stronger with each passing year. His convictions and talent are on a firm footing, but he’s always ready to take off for sounds unknown. All of this bodes well for jazz’s future, a future which most definitely includes Music Now! and Ras Moshe.

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Prospect" CD/LP/Track Review Prospect
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "The Happiest Man In The World" CD/LP/Track Review The Happiest Man In The World
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!