Mark Mosley is a Baltimore-based jazz and blues guitarist who was inspired to pursue music as a career after performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival while in high school. Born in Arkansas, Mark lived worldwide due to his parents' and his own previous active U.S Army affiliation. He began playing guitar when he was 11, first learning to emulate the playing of BB King. Later he played in school bands and was part of R&B and Jazz bands.
Since his days with the Army, Mark has toured Spain with Lou Donaldson and worked with Gary Bartz and Keter Betts, among others. He has been a band leader for several years to include while living as a civilian in the Heidleburg Germany region. Major venues performed in as a band leader in the DC and Baltimore area include Blues Alley, Montpelier Arts Center, Twins Jazz, Md.Public TV, WJZ -TV channel 13 (Baltimore), WPFW.89.3 fm radio interviews/airplay, and various Borders Books and Music outlets.
Mosley’s debut CD simply titled Mark Mosley introduces the first time listener to his bluesy-jazz improvisations and song writing skills. Five out of the six tunes on the CD are written by Mosley. Self-produced, the CD boasts a mixture of straight ahead and blues infused tunes, as well as strong musical support from pianist Charles Etzel, bassist James King and drummer Nasar Abadey. A CD review and interview can be found on Jazzguitarlife.com at
An educator as well as a musician, Mark teaches in Baltimore City's public school system. In addition, Mosley is a contributing writer for modernguitars.com and has joined the roster of booking agency, Ovationentertainment.com. Mark will soon join the artist roster of D'angelico guitars after recently receiving a guitar from them in October 2007. He has also been given an endorsement deal from Acoustic Image amps. For more info on Mark, visit his myspace site at:
Mark's current CD can be purchased at: http://cdbaby.com/cd/markmosley. A review of his CD, published in the November 2007 issue of Jazz Improv magazine follows below:Mark Mosley
MARK’S MOOD - Moe Music Group. Mark’s Mood; Smokin’ A Half Note; Legacy; Michelle; The Girl From Ipanema; Horizon.
PERSONNEL: Mark Mosley, guitar; Charles Etzel, piano; James King, bass; Nasar Abardey, drums; Moe Daniels, keyboards.
By Scott Yanow
Mark Mosley is an excellent guitarist with a clear tone, a harmonically advanced style and a swinging approach. Born in Arkansas, along the way he has worked with Lou Donaldson, Gary Bartz, Keter Betts and Dr. Lonnie Smith in addition to his own groups. Mosley’s tone and style at various times is reminiscent of Pat Martino, Russell Malone, Kenny Burrell and others in the modern straight ahead idiom. He builds up his solos logically, takes some chances, and yet always sounds relaxed and confident, even at faster tempos.
Mark’s Mood is essentially a self-produced demo and it is just a half-hour long. However this sampler is very well recorded and it does show what Mark Mosley can do without being self-conscious or overly eclectic. Joined by a fine rhythm section at a recording studio in Baltimore, Mosley performs Antonio Carlos Jobim’s "The Girl From Ipanema," fellow guitarist Sid Jacobs’ "Smokin’ A Half Note" and three of his originals including a tribute to his wife, "Michelle" (which has no relation to the Beatles song).
The opening "Mark’s Mood" has tricky chord changes, excellent guitar, piano and bass solos and a constant forward momentum. The medium-tempo blues "Smokin’ A Half Note" displays Mark Mosley’s comfort in a bebop setting. "Legacy" is a minor-toned blues with a melody line a little like "Topsy." "Michelle" begins as a tender ballad before becoming a strutting blues with a "Killer Joe" rhythm stated by pianist Charles Etzel. Mosley’s bluish and often chordal solo is one of his best of the set. The return to the original ballad is pretty sudden but ultimately works. Mosley sounds authentic on the classic bossa-nova, "The Girl From Ipanema," being quite comfortable with the Brazilian rhythms. Closing the brief program is a change of pace in "Horizon." With Moe Daniels added on keyboards, this is a more commercial track. At least the basic sound of the ensembles and the rhythms are commercial but Mosley plays as creatively as ever over the chord changes, not compromising his style despite the different setting.
All in all, this is an impressive first effort. Other than the brevity of the set, I have no reservations about recommending it to fans of modern mainstream jazz guitar.