Tood Mosby – Land of Enchantement (ENG review)

World Jazz
Tood Mosby - Land of Enchantement

Some albums captivate you from the very first track, and this one is no exception. It offers a form of jazz fusion that borrows from smooth jazz, bossa nova, and other musical styles, delivered by very talented artists:

  • Todd Mosby – acoustic, electric, imrat guitars, composer, arranger
  • Tom Scott – Saxophone/Aerophone
  • Vinnie Colaiuta – Drums
  • Rhonda Smith – Bass
  • Charlie Bisharat – Violin
  • Dapo Torimiro – Piano/Keys
  • Laura Vall – Vocalist
  • Timothy Bailey – Bass
  • Arianna Woods – Cello
  • David Leach – Percussion
  • Ranya Ibiqal – Cello

That’s quite a crowd, but none of them are there just to fill space.

Starting with his debut album, West East, in 2004, Todd Mosby has continued to explore a blend of Western and Eastern sounds across a series of conceptual albums focused on nature and spirituality, such as Eagle Mountain in 2016, Open Waters in 2019, and Aerial Views in 2020. With Land of Enchantment in 2023, he turns his attention to the arid landscapes of the southwestern United States.

It’s impossible not to think back to some albums we loved between the 80s and 90s because Todd Mosby takes us on a delightful musical patchwork where nothing is left to chance. Mosby attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he honed his jazz skills. He also spent several years leading a new wave band. In the 90s, he regularly worked as a top jazz musician in the St. Louis area. It was also during this time that he began private studies with sitar master Ustadt Imrat Khan, learning traditional North Indian classical raga music. All these cultural experiences enrich his work. An excellent guitarist and arranger, as this new album proves, he knows how to combine complex music with a form of writing that is both digestible and accessible.

On this album, even the perfectly organized track order guides you. This album is inspiring, offering poetic pages that conspire among the 8 pieces of this exhibition, as Mussorgsky might say, 8 pieces that are as many images as all the travels this musician has made, drawing from his encounters, probably jotting down his impressions in a small notebook. It’s the patient work of a musician who works like an artisan, treating every detail with an elegance found only in the best. This is an album to own, to listen to if you fall into sadness or nostalgia. It will be like a ray of sunshine in the middle of summer, caressing your skin. Plus, there’s a very personal and successful version of “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles, showing how interesting this musician is, capturing the essence of the song and making it even more radiant.

When you find an album too short, it’s generally a good sign. That was the case with this one, an album I let play on repeat for a long time before starting to write this review, too happy to listen to each track and enjoy the various forms and directions this album takes, ending with a beautiful rendition of Glen Campbell’s “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” Not being American, I only vaguely knew this song, which I now share with you in a live version right here:

Needless to say, this album joins our list of “Essentials.” Who could complain about that? In the face of such talent and culture, one can only bow in admiration.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, June 22nd 2024

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