Since completing studies at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, guitarist Chris Mosley has established himself as a unique and original voice on the Portland, Oregon jazz scene. Outside Voices, recorded for the independent Diactic Records label, is a powerful showcase for the Mosley’s ultra-contemporary playing and composing.
Mosley’s improvised lines are free-flowing and uncontrived. Using technique sparingly, the guitarist focuses his efforts on thematic development through single-note flourishes and jagged chord clusters. His tight, slightly dissonant voicings and catchy melodies are, at times reminiscent of John Scofield. The disc’s ten tracks, all composed by Mosley, are well-conceived and rehearsed, yet loose enough for spontaneous interpretation.
Some of the more interesting selections from the session are the odd-metered "Again, Remember," featuring a scorching solo by Mosley and a pulsating groove by bassist Bill Athens, and "Don’t Be Sorry," with patient interplay between Mosley and saxophonist Tim Willcox. Vamped-out numbers like "Finally the Sky" find Mosley stretching-out with a seemingly endless amount of ideas. "Grey Matter" has a fun, twisted groove propelled by drummer Randy Rollofson.
Outside Voices has many appealing qualities. Guitarists will be intrigued by Mosley’s fresh approach to the instrument, while the disc’s intuitive group interplay will satisfy the ears of the most discerning listener.