Born: February 25 Primary Instrument: Guitar
The following are excerpts taken from an interview by Lyle Robinson for jazzguitarlife.com.
Mark Mosley is a working jazz guitarist out of Baltimore who shares with us his experiences from the early days to what he is doing presently to ensure his jazz guitar status keeps on. An enjoyable read!
JazzGuitarLife.com Interview with Mark Mosley: This interview was conducted via email November, 2004.
JGL: At what age did you first get into guitar playing and were you interested in jazz from the beginning or were there other musical interests before jazz?
MM: At age 11, other musical interests included learning how to play a convincing blues by copying B.B. King and listening to cats like Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and others through my dad....
...despite his more delicate touch, Mosley is a traditionalist, a hard-swinging blues player...He’s also an idealist; Mosley will tell you as he plays that he believes in spreading jazz because it’s the most perfect representation of democracy...
~~ Michael C. West, Washington City Paper, October 2007.
Baltimore Jazz Guitarist Mark Mosley’s debut CD simply titled Mark Mosley [The CD has since been retitled Mark's Mood, after Mark's compositon of the same title] is a really nice listen as he introduces the first time listener to his bluesy-jazz improvisations and song writing skills. In fact, five out of the six tunes on the CD are written by Mosley leaving just one standard “The Girl From Ipanema."
This self-produced and for the moment, self-promoted CD is a nice mixture of straight ahead and blues infused tunes that had my foot tapping from the first bar to the last. Mosley can definitely write very memorable (hummable) tunes that lend themselves well to his particular style of guitar playing. In particular, his straight ahead compositions, “Mark’s Mood” and “Legacy”, which feature some very nice melodic improvisations from both Mosley and pianist Charles Etzel. Mosley’s inclusion of a jazz-blues tune showcases some down and dirty blues lines, double-stops, and a healthy vibrato that adds an authentic color to his blues playing. Fans of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell should be quite pleased with this release.
There’s also a sensitive side to Mosley as evident on the ballad “Michelle”. This is short lived though as the tune goes into a swinging four-to-the-bar blues (a la Freddie Freeloader) with some more vibrato laden bent string blues playing. The tune then shifts back to the ballad as Mosley states the sweet melody again before concluding the tune.
The only standard on the CD, “The Girl From Ipanema”, gets a nice reading as Mosley and Etzel lay down a two-chord vamp intro to get the tune rolling. Mosley keeps it more straight ahead on this tune as he plays very melodically through the changes before giving the “floor” to Etzel who plays a nice chorus before ending the tune.
The “odd-man-out” on this CD seems to be the last tune titled “Horizon”. It is a very radio-friendly pop-jazz tune that features all electronic instruments under Mosley’s smooth, round tone. It reminded me of Benson’s “Breezin'” period, and while different from the other tunes on the CD, it still had some very tasty playing by Mosley, and given a full CD of these types of tunes, might prove to be a successful venture for Mosley.
With the exception of the last tune, Mosley gets some very nice musical support from the rest of the band. Apart from pianist Etzel, bassist James King and drummer Nasar Abadey provide Mosley with a strong sense of time and swing that is the foundation of any enjoyable listening. They don't disappoint.
As a self-produced effort, this is a very promising debut from Mark Mosley.
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Baltimore County, MD
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Rates: $50.00 per hour, available on Sundays.
Over 20 years of world-wide Army Band experiences.
Multi-instrumentalist on trombone, bass, guitar, and vocals.
Attended Towson University (Maryland) as a music major - 1 year.
Briefly attended Berklee College of Music (Boston).
B.S degree in Elementary Education plus graduate credits.