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Mark Mosley: Mark's Mood

Matthew Warnock By

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Mark's Mood is a blues-driven, bop-based release from Washington, D.C. based guitarist Mark Mosley. The disc, released as a six-song EP, provides an anticipatory glimpse into the musical musings of the bebop-oriented guitarist. Laced in blues-based vocabulary, reminiscent of the late, great Wes Montgomery, Mosley and company are never afraid to take chances, often stepping out into unexpected and challenging musical territory, providing a sense of unpredictability throughout the album.

Featuring a mixture of Mosley originals and jazz standards, the tunes on Mark's Mood showcase the various composers and genres that have helped shaped Mosley's playing into what it is today. The oft played "The Girl from Ipanema" is given a bold, yet comfortable, arrangement, something that is needed when presenting a tune of this popularity and fame. As well, Mosley showcases his blues chops on the seldom covered "Smokin' a Half Note," written by L.A.-based guitarist extraordinaire Sid Jacobs.

The other four tunes on the album were all written by Mosley and act as a window into his diverse tastes and abilities as a composer. The pop-jazz tune "Horizon" brings to mind the laidback groove of any George Benson tune, while the title track is a hard-bop blower, allowing the band to stretch their chops during their improvised choruses. The musicians that Mosley has assembled for this release compliment each track with their strong melodic support and creative improvisations. Whether it's a Latin groove, bebop-based blues tune or a pop-soul chart, the band is right there with Mosley through every melodic twist and harmonic turn.

Mosley's playing is firmly entrenched in the jazz guitar tradition, though he often takes risks in exploring new, more modern territory that other bebop based guitarists might shy away from. Possessing a tone that is both warm and engaging, Mosley is never too hard on his pick, his attack is smooth yet never to the point of sloppy. He prefers to lay back on the beat, with that classic '60s Blue Note feel, something that he has garnered from years of studying the greats, with Kenny Burrell and Grant Green coming to mind in particular.

Though not a full-scale release, Mark's Mood provides an introductory glimpse into the style and creative nature of the D.C. based picker.

Track Listing: Mark's Mood; Smokin a Half Note; Legacy; Michelle; The Girl From Ipanema; Horizon.

Personnel: Mark Mosley: guitar; James King: bass; Charles Etzel: piano; Nasar Abadey: drums; Moe Daniels: keyboards.

Title: Mark's Mood | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


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