12 Songs, 51 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

CandiceMichelle1 ,

One of the year’s finest instrumental acoustic albums!

Todd Mosby is an acclaimed jazz guitarist who’s opened for top names in the smooth jazz genre such as The Rippingtons, Michael Franks and Chris Botti. He’s also a member of the four-piece acoustic folk ensemble, Four Guitars, which includes legendary guitarist and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman. Additionally, Mosby studied classical North Indian music for 13 years with Indian sitar player Ustadt Imrat Khan, which helped to formulate his own style of fusing the polyrhythms and polyphony derived from that region with contemporary jazz music. Perhaps most notably, Mosby co-conceived the Imrat guitar (along with Kim Schwartz and Imrat Khan), a 20-stringed hybrid instrument that looks and sounds like a cross between a western guitar and an Indian sitar.

With his fifth album, Todd Mosby sails the seven seas on Open Waters, a leisurely musical adventure inspired by Greek philosopher Plato’s legendary lost civilization of Atlantis. Mosby, like myself, has been fascinated by this most intriguing tale ever since he was a child, and similarly, that curiosity never left him as an adult. Comprised of 12 songs spanning approximately 52 minutes, the album transpires like an archetype voyage from the mythical kingdom to a new land, moving in a westward direction across the ocean.

Produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, Open Waters also enlists the contributing musical talents of other familiar names like Charlie Bisharat (violin), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Michael Manring (bass), Premik Russell Tubbs (EWI and saxophone), and others.

“Drifting” introduces the album with a supremely serene soundscape, as the meditatively melodic tones of Mosby’s signature Imrat guitar are seemingly set adrift upon a liquid haze. Named for the album’s overarching theme, “Atlantica” follows with gentle percussion, saxophone and bass guitar, as Mosby alternates between his versatile instrument’s acoustic guitar and sitar sound. Ensuing next is "Open Waters", one of the album’s main highlights, which showcases the ethereal vocal intonations of Lola Hennecki accompanied by a characteristically easygoing, smooth jazz arrangement.

One of my favorite pieces herein is the dreamily tranquil “A New Land”, which effectively brings-to-mind that of sailing down a lazy river, as a peaceful acoustic guitar melody in tandem with subtle piano notes (courtesy of Fiona Joy Hawkins) are smoothly carried along by understated percussion. We are then greeted by lyrical female vocals on “Western Sky”, another jazzy piece with a touch of Bossa Nova. Reverting to a tenderer mood, “Dolphin Song” conveys both serenity and playfulness with its pastoral collage of guitar, piano and violin at the forefront.

Arguably Todd Mosby’s most outstanding work to date, Open Waters mesmerizingly imparts a cooling and calming effect upon the senses, as it paints relaxing images of sunny beaches, sailing the oceans and dreaming in paradise. A masterful display of acoustic folk and smooth jazz with Caribbean and Eastern musical overtones, Open Waters easily earns a spot as one of the year’s finest instrumental acoustic albums!

BT Fasmer ,

One of 2019’s finest New Age music releases

Traveling on water, or simply gazing at it, gives us a profound feeling of peace. Todd Mosby’s new album “Open Waters” embodies this sensation. It is an homage to the beautiful and dangerous ocean and its contradictions and mysteries. Wherever you are, this album will give you a feeling of being far out to sea. Mosby has delivered one of 2019’s finest New Age music releases, which for sure will win him a reward or two – and many news fans.

Todd Mosby has created a new musical syntax integrating Indian classical music and Western music. His 13-year study of traditional North Indian music with his neighbor and guru-ji Ustadt Imrat Khan led to the development of acoustic and electric versions of the Imratguitar, a hybrid sitar-guitar. His previous releases are “On Eagle Mountain” (2016) and “West East” (2004 – Reissue). Mosby has been nominated for numerous ZMR, Global Peace Song and One World Music Awards. He is also a part of Four Guitars, with Will Ackerman, Vin Downes, and Trevor Gordon Hall.

Drifting
“Drifting” is the album’s gentle opening. To drift is not only about being carried by a current, but it is also a state of mind. Your imagination is free to roam wherever it wants. The song incorporates both these aspects beautifully. It has a sweet Eastern sound, reminding us of how versatile this guitarist is. Todd can take us anywhere with his guitar.

After that relaxing drift, “Atlantica” feels like wakening up. And wow, what a place this is! As soon as the fog clears, you’ll see that this place of your dreams – it’s paradise! “Atlantica” has a relaxed vibe, saxophone, light percussion, and chilled guitars. I very much enjoy how Mosby combines jazz, New Age music, and easy listening. “Atlantica” was a place worth searching for.

Open Waters
Next out is the title track. I love the song’s welcoming sound. Finally we are underway, the sun is shining, and the wind is just right. This is precisely what a sailor feels after weeks or months of preparations. It is a brilliant piece with a nice rhythm, gentle female vocalization, and Mosby’s usual guitar wizardry. Notice the many twists and turns; there’s no doubt that we are listening to one of the best artist currently active on the New Age music scene.

This album is all about movement. The feeling of being underway, and enjoying each part of the voyage equally, is this release in a nutshell. Travel is not merely about getting from A to B, it is a process. “Coming About” continue where “Open Waters” left off. The violin and trumpet give the song a playful atmosphere. The mix of genres and expressions is delightful.

A New Land
Now is the time to make landfall. I love the gentle opening; it is as if “A New Land,” which is the title of the next piece, comes into view as a small dot in the horizon. Then it manifests itself more and more as we get closer, bringing with it a sense of adventure. Then the guitar is joined by piano, bass, and percussion. We now see the new land and all its possibilities; It truly is a magical place. But it is impossible to stay at one place for long. “Western Sky” takes us out to sea again, in search of a long lost love. The song has a beautiful build-up and more of that lovely feeling of movement. The western sky carries the promise of everything good life has to offer.

Of all the living creatures in the ocean, dolphins are among the most beautiful and remarkable. Just seeing them glide through the sea and do an occasional jump, is extraordinary. Mosby’s “Dolphin Song” is a tribute to this wondrous mammal. As a New Age music enthusiast, I found myself almost wishing for some dolphin squeaks and whistles – but I guess that would have been a bit over the top… The song is excellent as it is.

Water Dancer
This is an album about movement, and “Water Dancer” takes it one step further. It moves like waves, up and down, round and round. Mosby’s playful approach makes it into a very enjoyable listen. I played it for my children, and they instantly started dancing! It is a song that makes you feel alive.

At this stage the album shifts gear. It is slower and more contemplative. We make another relaxing landfall on “Island Song,” ponder about distances and time gone by on “So Far Away” and enjoy a warm breeze on “Windward”. “Sea of Joni” concludes the album in a triumphant way. It has the atmosphere of a homecoming. We are, at last, reunited with the people we love. I also enjoy the somewhat abrupt ending; the voyage is over, now let’s move on; new adventures awaits somewhere else!

In conclusion: It is easy to understand why Todd Mosby is being called a guitarist’s guitarist. He gives the word perfection a new meaning. That said, it does not affect how accessible his music is. “Open Waters” takes the listener on a remarkable journey. It is positive, playful and chilled. In short; a fantastic release!

Whenever you feel the lure of the sea, Mosby’s “Open Waters” is there for you.

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"Open Waters" is the fifth album from Todd Mosby, an artist whose creativity knows no bounds. The album was produced by Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records, who calls it “the best project I have been involved with.” With all of the music luminaries Ackerman has worked with over the years, that’s quite a statement! Ackerman further states: “Todd Mosby is the most unique sounding guitarist I have ever worked with, nobody does what he does.” "Open" Waters is a concept album based on the legend of Atlantis - Plato’s story of the destruction of the ancient civilization and what survivors might have felt as they escaped in ships heading westward. The music itself is impossible to categorize, utilizing elements of jazz, pop, new age, folk and Indian music. The CD includes an eight-page booklet with information about the music, photos of Mosby, and a short poem for each piece.

It doesn’t take much digging around to discover what makes this album unique. It features acoustic and electric “Imrat guitars,” 20-string hybrid sitar/guitars that Mosby co-invented with Imrat Khan and Kim Schwartz. The instrument allows Western musicians to access Eastern melodies and Eastern musicians to access Western harmonies for the first time. Mosby composed all twelve tracks and performs on Imrat guitars as well as acoustic guitars, synth bass and Fender Rhodes. Additional musicians include Imaginary Road Studios all-stars Charlie Bisharat (violin), Premik Russell Tubbs (wind instruments), Tom Eaton (Fender Rhodes and hand percussion), Jeff Haynes (percussion) and Noah Wilding (vocals). Other guest artists include Michael Manning (bass), Fiona Joy (piano), Lola Hennecki (vocals and piano) and Steve Bankuti (drums).

"Open Waters" begins with “Drifting,” a duet with Michael Manring that borders on ambient while evoking images of stars reflected on calm seas as “dreams float in tempo.” Smooth and hypnotic, “Atlantica” is named for the mythical land (Mosby’s muse) and is quite a bit jazzier. The title track picks up the tempo as well as a sense of adventure - we’re underway! A lively and playfully upbeat toe-tapper, “Coming About” presents an intriguing dialog between acoustic guitar, electric Imrat guitar and violin (plus vocals, piano, drums and percussion) - sure to bring a smile! “A New Land” is a beautiful acoustic piece that includes Fiona Joy on piano. Gentle and calming, it’s a favorite. “Western Sky” is the only track with lyrics (written and sung by Lola Hennecki), and is a wistful love song with a smooth jazz vibe. “Dolphin Song” also features Charlie Bisharat and Fiona Joy, but is mostly a gentle, melodic acoustic guitar piece - also a favorite. “Island Song” has a light and breezy air that refreshes as it soothes. “So Far Away,” a is warm and dreamy guitar solo (acoustic), is the only solo on the album. “Sea of Joni” brings this excellent album to an upbeat, toe-tapping close while overflowing with joy and optimism.

"Open Waters" is musical adventure you won’t want to miss!