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JGT Album Review: Mike Moss ‘Just In Time’

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Guest JGT contributor Ryan Thorell reviews the latest from Mike Moss, a jazz guitarist in Birmingham Alabama.

Strong second solo offering by a superb technician. Mike Moss is a known heavyweight in the Birmingham Alabama jazz scene and in the high-end guitar world where he has been a well-received performer for at least a decade that I am aware of. Moss swings his way through a healthy offering of an equal mix of originals and new arrangements of a well-chosen breadth of standards.

He opens the album with an on the beat driving original Amblin, recorded acoustically on a gorgeous Bill Collings Seventeen-inch archtop.

I absolutely loved the quality of the recording and the voyage through the sonic cadre of world-class guitars I found mesmerizing and captivating enough to keep this album in a constant rotation in a lot of different settings. It really is a great listen. However the greatest outstanding merit is Moss’s prowess as a songwriter, Moss shows effortless crafting of clean and well stated impactful melodies. . It goes hand in hand throughout the album with strongly and graciously presented material and swinging improvisation.  The eighth track sees Moss on one of my all-time favorite guitars, a John Buscarino Virtuoso, on a splendid arrangement of one of my favorite songs ‘You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To’. This was such a treat for me. I have been in love with this song since Andy Beys huge success with his unforgettable rendition.  Moss gives the song a lovely new life in his arrangement and that is a drippingly real Buscarino Virtuoso ladies and gentlemen. The last track I would like to mention is the second to last original Nina Don’t Go. This is the only track not recorded in Myriad Media in Franklin NC, it was recorded in Mosses home then mastered in the renowned studio.  This melody is so hauntingly well crafted and presented with such prowess. It really is a gem of a song. The track features an acoustically recorded Greenfield G-1, an absolutely stunning instrument presented in full glory. 

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The ease and freshness with which Moss crafts the narrative of this album, I find to be a delight and a refreshing listen. If you forgot that jazz guitar is something that can be just plain fun, this album is for you. 

JGT thanks Ryan!

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