301

Rob Mosher's Storytime: The Tortoise

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Rob Mosher's Storytime: The Tortoise The compelling debut of Canadian-born, New York-based reed man and self-taught composer Rob Mosher is a thematic composition for his 10-piece ensemble Storytime. Using Storytime, featuring young composers and reed men Sam Sadigursky and Peter Hess, Mosher succeeds in orchestrating vividly sophisticated, highly melodic suite-like musical stories. These cinematic narratives reflect Mosher's diverse influences, ranging from Claude Debussy and Kurt Weill to Gil Evans and Wayne Shorter, while still bearing his singular compositional voice. The title represents Mosher's method of working, taking his time and following his myriad of ideas to completion.

The opener, "On A Clear Day," in addition to other short pieces on The Tortoise, suggests a Weill-esque playful jazz romp, but equally the lush orchestration owes much to Gil Evans. Mosher's chamber-like arrangements embrace the beautiful storytelling lines of flugelhornist Micah Killion while leaving enough room for other members of the ensemble to explore its theme and shine around him. Mosher follows with the light-hearted Latin-flavored "The Sands Of Maundune," featuring a breezy guitar solo from Nir Felder, while on " Sleepless Lullaby" he offers a beautiful wind arrangement that encompasses a moving duet between bassist Garth Stevenson's arco and Felder's acoustic guitar. "Jupiter" possesses a complex, multi-layered texture that references the modernist post-bop compositions of Shorter, with Mosher's assured playing on soprano sax.

"Twilight" was inspired by a walk in Central Park and features Felder's atmospheric Hawaiian slide guitar, surfing through a graceful and rich arrangement that offers a visual and colorful narrative of that walk. "Silhouette of the Man in the Fog" retains the same visual vein, with a film noir-esque touch and expressive solos from Mosher on English horn and Brian Landrus on baritone sax. "March Of The Elephants" again shows Mosher's masterful and nuanced impressionist chamber wind arrangement, highlighting the clear voices of trombonist Michael Fahie, Sadigursky on flute, Mosher on oboe and Hess on clarinet. "The Forgotten" is a vehicle for Hess' extended tenor sax solo, delivered over the ensemble's detailed performance. "Farewell, Goodbye" is a gentle and beautiful closer to this series of cinematic suites.

Mosher is a gifted composer who offers a fresh and updated approach to the innovations of the Third Stream. His ensemble is a force to be reckoned with, and Mosher intends a follow-up with an extended group that will add banjo, violin, cello tuba and operatic baritone to Storytime's already rich palette.


Track Listing: On a Clear Day; The Sands of Maundune; Sleepless Lullaby; Jupiter; What Snowflakes Are Plotting; Twilight; Silhouette of the Man in the Fog; The Tall Tales of Todd Toven; March of the Elephants; Joy; The Forgotten; 1920's Car Chase; Farewell, Goodbye.

Personnel: Rob Mosher: soprano saxophone, oboe, English horn; Sam Sadigursky: flute, piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone; Peter Hess: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Brian Landrus: bass clarinet, baritone saxophone; Micah Killion: trumpet, flugelhorn; Rachel Drehmann: French horn; Michael Fahie: trombone; Nir Felder: acoustic and electric guitar; Garth Stevenson: acoustic bass; Ziv Ravitz: drums and percussion.

Title: The Tortoise | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Old Mill


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere" CD/LP/Track Review Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Everything's Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Beautiful
by Asher Wolf
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Phil Barnes
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Windmills" CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.