Rob Mosher’s Storytime – The Tortoise –

by | Oct 31, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Rob Mosher’s Storytime – The Tortoise – MILL233 ****:

All the selections here are by multitalented reedman Mosher, who plays soprano sax, oboe and English horn on the CD. He is backed by a nonet of musicians – his “Storytime” ensemble – in rather a chamber music form except for the added doublebass and drums.  The 28-year-old Canadian-born musician – now in NYC – has created here a chamber jazz/classical suite inspired by his major influences: Debussy, Ravel, Wayne Shorter, Legeti and Bach.  He doesn’t intend for the name of his group and the album title to sound childish; he creates simple melodies supported by sophisticated musical structures. This is an elegant jazz/classical mix, and in a different vein from what used to be called Third Stream Music.

You’ll search in vain for the title tune, The Tortoise. Mosher explains that the overall title represents “three things: being myself and coming out of my social shell, riding life’s currents, and the importance of taking my time with things instead of rushing like the hare.”  There are several wonderful woodwind passages, which reminded me of my favorite Johnny Richards’ “Adoration of the Muses.”  There’s a moving arco duet with bass and acoustic guitar, the trombonist Michael Fahie portrays the nobility of the beasts in March of the Elephants. And some of the tracks have a strong film noir soundtrack feel to them.

TrackList: On a Clear Day, The Sands of Maudune, Sleepless Lullaby, Jupiter, What Snowflakes are Plotting, Twilight, Silhouette of the Man in the Fog, The Tal Tales of Todd Toven, Marc of the Elephants, Joy, The Forgotten, 1920s Car Chase, Farewell Goodbye.

 – John Henry

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