It's an interesting combination of musicians that make up the aptly-named Mozaik. A couple of Irishmen who are lauded veterans of the Celtic music scene, an American fiddler/guitarist with a background in old-time music, a Dutch guitar player, and a Hungarian multi-instrumentalist. Together they range across Celtic music, Hungarian dances and songs, and all manner of traditional American music. A studio album from this crowd would have been interesting, but this live album is far more convincing. The recording is so pristine that at first you have to question if it's really live (it is), and the musicianship so precise and developed that it seems impossible that they could only have been playing together for a month when this was made -- it's also a testament to the prowess all those involved. While singer and bouzouki player Andy Irvine might act as a fulcrum by virtue of his singing (and he's superb on "My Heart's Tonight in Ireland," and on his signature song "Never Tire of the Road"), there's really a shifting center to the band, depending on the material. So Bruce Molsky is front and center for the medley of "The Rocky Road to Dublin/Indian Ate the Woodchuck," and Nicola Parov takes the spotlight on "Suleman's Kopanitsa," for example. About the only one to stay in the background is Donal Lunny, who's always favored that position anyway, but his contributions are always incisive and effective -- and he's still a remarkable player, as his work on "Smeseno Horo" shows. These cross-cultural pollinations might seem unlikely, but they work here, without effort, the music gliding by as a joyous whole. It's difficult not to be in awe of what they do here; it's simply so good and so natural. As a debut it's going to be hard to beat; but at the same time, it's impossible to wish for more -- and soon.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson