“Wherever one goes in the Southwest, one encounters magic, strength, and beauty,” Ansel Adams wrote. Inspired by the same landscape – and Georgia O’Keeffe‘s art – each of the pieces on Todd Mosby’s upcoming album have similar characteristics. Land of Enchantment has magic enough for several releases. Stylish, playful and cool, the album underlines the deep connection between geography, art and culture.
Land of Enchantment will be released on July 7, 2023.
Todd Mosby has created a new musical syntax integrating Indian classical music and Western music. His 13-year study of traditional North Indian music with his neighbor and guru-ji Ustadt Imrat Khan led to the development of acoustic and electric versions of the Imratguitar, a hybrid sitar-guitar. His most recent albums are On Eagle Mountain (2016), Open Waters (2019) and Aerial Views (2020).
Place in The Sun
The album opener is called Place in the Sun – and what a warm and inviting piece it is! Under a cloudless sky, good company and a playful atmosphere make this album opener into something truly spectacular! The female vocalization (Laura Vall) and Timothy Bailey’s bass sound divine. But don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself:
The track fades beautifully into Moonrise Samba. I especially enjoy the jazzy, guitar driven melody. The Rhodes keyboard too shines brightly in the moonlight. Vinnie Colaiuta is, as usual, brilliant. We are in the company of world-class performers, no doubt about that. The warm and upscale piece makes it impossible to sit still.
Talking about movement; Native Dancer seems to incorporate the two tracks we just heard, and somehow takes it all into a new and creative direction – much thanks to the Imratguitar and sax. Where ever you might be, the landscape of New Mexico seems near.
A Distant Light
At this stage, the album changes pace. The delicate A Distant Light gives time to reflect on everything we have experienced this far and ponder about what’s next. Adrienne Woods’ cello and Mosby’s electric guitar engage in a wonderful duet that will illuminate even a dark room.
Listening to Georgia’s World gives the same experience as studying Georgia O’Keeffe’s artworks; one cannot help thinking that this is indeed a genuine masterpiece! The blues guitar and the Rhodes piano, similar to the mid-section on The Doors’ Riders on the Storm I think, invite us into this unique and incredibly well-crafted track. The melody is easygoing and light, making the listener hang on to each note. Georgia’s World is, in short, a winner from start to finish.
The album’s rendition of the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood is playful and makes the melody fit well with the New Mexico atmosphere. Especially the last 40 seconds are fantastic.
On Emerald Springs, we finally get a Todd Mosby solo. The steel string guitar sounds incredible! It is a very dynamic melody Mosby has in store for us; after a powerful opening it almost stops, then a more thoughtful segment follows – before a few heavy riffs are heard. It is only three minutes long, so I had to put it on replay to really appreciate this part of Mosby’s musical expression.
I’m happy to report that the album ends on a high note; Glen Campbell’s By The Time I Get To Phoenix rounds off the album in a dreamy and heartwarming way. The lovely guitar and violin duet twists and turns delightfully.
In conclusion: Bold and uncompromising, Land Of Enchantment by Todd Mosby is an exploration of the connection between nature, culture and art. The summery vibe often hides the fact that this is a flawless release by an artist at the very height of his abilities. Dapo Torimiro on piano and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, to name a few, do their part in making this journey in music both rewarding and unforgettable, too.
From jazz, jazz fusion and samba to Bossa-nova and folk-rock, the album’s genre defying style makes sure that there is something here for everyone. I enjoy how the sound seems to represent the landscape, from the baking A Place in the Sun to the reflective By The Time I Get To Phoenix. There is a lot to discover in-between with almost limitless replay value.
Georgia O’Keeffe said: “I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality. I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say—in paint” Listening to Todd Mosby play, I’m 100% sure that he can say the same about the guitar.
For more information and music samples, visit toddmosby.band
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