Jazz guitarist Dave Mosick has beautiful tone, exquisite technique and a deft touch, all of which point to high quality musicianship. Though he is steeped in the tradition -- Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd often come to mind - he is a modernist in the strictest sense. His compositions reflect the reverence in which he holds the traditional values of jazz while reflecting his inner-muse and fleet-fingered originality. While his takes on classics such as the opening "Softly, As In A Morning’s Sunrise" and the re-invented "There Is No Greater Love" serve as a means of judging chops against familiar melodies, Mosick sidesteps simple convention by imbuing them with his own unique flavors. His take on "Corcovado" is delightfully shimmering and Jerome Kern’s "Yesterdays" is rendered cleverly original.
Mosick’s own compositions are spellbinding, both for the quick-witted phraseology as well as for the intricately constructed ideas. "Infinity" has a quick-tempo chase that paints a marvelous musical mosaic without coming close to a painted corner. This is Mosick’s M.O. He is quick witted and intelligent throughout. Musical invention in motion.
Ideas cascade. "Simplicity" is a deceptive title that’s appropriate to the equally deceptive lines that outline the piece. On the surface this appears to be a series of riffs in progressively changing keys, though closer listening reveals increasingly complex layers of playing by all involved. This is the standout in a program with no weak spots.
The supportive work from bassist Eric Harper and masterful drummer John Greeley cannot be overstated. Greeley’s brush work on the delicate "Sharman" and Harper’s solo on "Simplicity", for instance, are first rate.
Mosick is one of the finest new jazz guitarists to reach these jaded ears in a long while. While few players deserve mention in the same breath as the hallowed Tal Farlow, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, etc., Mosick impresses as a player for the ages. He has the touch and the tone of a master. Given time and circumstance to age properly, he has more than mere potential to join the pantheon. For my money Amalgamation
is one of the finest recordings of the year.