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Storytime - The Tortoise

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Album Review

Rob Mosher's Storytime presents a wonderful soundscape of colors and depth of originality, with modern layered charts and a unique sound that fills the room with good feeling, charm, and sheer beauty. This tentet led by Canadian born soprano saxophonist Mosher delivers an all original program that is definitely inspired by latter period, multi-ethnically inspired Duke Ellington, while evoking scenes from nature and natural phenomena, the changing of the seasons, some American trad jazz, and imagery based on film noir or Acadian day cycles. As the music is consistent from top to bottom and somewhat thematic, it would be wise to listen to this CD as it is programmed instead of by individual tracks, for they tell a complete tale of contemporary life with many historic signposts. "On a Clear Day" consistently clicks along on trotting horse hooves in balanced mezzo forte, "The Sands of Maundune" sounds like the band is mixing meters as in a mysterious Middle Eastern late night, but comes closer to a modified 4/4 samba, while the unpredictable "Jupiter" uses a 12/8 beat to conjure tangential beacons of light, some rock & roll, and the impressive soprano of the leader. Then the band moves into a lengthy, languid, moody and pensive in-between waltz "Twilight," segues to "Silhouette of the Man in the Fog" with a protective and distant motif with Mosher's lurking soprano unseen until the baritone sax of Brian Landrus states his agenda and bad intentions. It seems everything is measured in groups of three, as a short snippet, "The Tall Tales of Todd Toven" struts boldly in a funky circus jig, leading to "March of the Elephants" with its Greek drama and varying dynamics as the pachyderms go from sleep to stomp, and the outstanding piece "Joy" with renaissance fair music meeting European classicism, contemporary funk, and folk-blues all at once. "1920s Car Chase" is a wacky Peter Gunn cum Keystone Cops number, a trad jazz flavored hard swinging postlude with Nir Felder's helicopter electric guitar observing overhead. Though these names will not be recognizable to most, the exceptional woodwinds of Sam Sadigursky, tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Peter Hess, and French horn player Rachel Drehmann deserve special notice, as does Mosher when he plays his focused soprano, oboe, or English horn. If you are familiar with the compositions of Rob Reddy, Guillermo Klein, or the NOJO, you'll immediately gravitate to what Mosher's concept offers. This project deserves high marks, and universal recognition as strong, well crafted, highly arranged, listenable, and accessible music. That it is utterly unique, with very few stolen moments from previous reference materials, The Tortoise should land and stick as one of a short stack of favorites for those who truly enjoy new music. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Storytime - The Tortoise, Rob Mosher
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 19, 2008

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