The story goes that while Swiss born, longtime Chicago based guitarist/composer Samuel Mösching first started playing jazz at age 12, he became a strict jazz head a few years later when John Coltrane’s Crescent album caught his ear. He studied jazz, classical and composition in school and eventually became part of the European jazz scene with the group Sonic Fusion and his own trio Aido.
Yet blissfully, on his solo outings – including his infectious, shimmering and seductive new album Ethereal Kinks - he brings the blessing of his pop/rock sensibilities to create a landscape of crisp, melodically to the point tracks that allow us to enjoy his warm, soulful tones, overall laid back rhythmic vibe and colorful improvisations on a wide variety of guitars without overplaying or overstaying his welcome at any given time.
For the record, the shortest tune, the plucky, hypnotic electric guitar driven “Strict Dancer” is only 1:27, while the longest, the sultry, inviting and super chill “Disconnect,” is 5:27. In between, he jangles and dazzles with a bit of playful funk (“No Dancing,” which features bassist Renda “Victoria” Jackson), an otherworldly, atmospheric waltz (“Beauty and the Best Roleplay”) and explores the complexities of “Mental Illness” via a ballad whose laid back melody and fanciful improvisations are punctuated by a powerful, hypnotic drum groove.
True to its title, “The Belief in Magic,” the guitarist saves his greatest energy for last, wrapping the set by rocking and rolling quickly and furiously on an explosive electric jam that perfectly balances the mediational dreaminess of much of this appealing collection.