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 Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Sooner And Later" CD/LP/Track Review Sooner And Later
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive" CD/LP/Track Review Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Start to Move" CD/LP/Track Review Start to Move
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "The Art Pepper Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review The Art Pepper Quartet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 7, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.