Sal Mosca

Sal Mosca & Warne Marsh Quartet, Vol. 1

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This is the first volume of two of a 1981 quartet featuring two of Lennie Tristano's most steadfast students, Warne Marsh and Sal Mosca. The recording has many of the marks of the Tristano school, and the whole project has a do it yourself ethos. Mosca recorded the date and released it on the tiny Zinnia Records, a label devoted to documenting musicians inspired by Tristano. The sound has a slightly boxy, live quality, though the audio is very listenable. (Unlike many Tristano live sessions issued on Jazz Records.) Also, taking a page from the late pianist and teacher, Mosca includes solos by Marsh and himself excerpted from longer performances. So "Digi-Doll" picks up during the applause for the piano solo, includes Marsh blowing over the chords of Lester Young's "Tickle Toe," and ends with applause for his solo. Seven of the tracks here are extracts, five featuring the tenor saxophonist. Familiar chord sequences abound -- "Mickey Lynn" is "She's Funny That Way," and "Silver Man" is "All the Things You Are." Over these Marsh blows long, lyrical lines that have a swing-based drive and that never fail to find the most savory notes in the harmony. This is especially true on a "Shak'in-Out." Mosca can be an aggressive accompanist, and his solos demonstrate his strong two-handed technique and a taste for driving lines dull of displaced accents punctuated with dissonant jabs. Together Mosca and Marsh make a riveting team, and this live session catches their interaction at its most intense.

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