Schumann and Prokofiev Drunk at a Saloon Piano, Chamber Music for the Wild West: Welcome to Rob Mosher’s “Polebridge”.
When composer Rob Mosher rounded the bend into Polebridge, Montana and caught sight of the old saloon piano sitting derelict behind the local mercantile, his imagination soared. So much so that he sprinted straight over to the out-of-tune upright and began penning the piece that opens his lush new chamber-jazz album, Polebridge.
The town of Polebridge, curiously like the piano itself, has a population of 88. Life hearkens back to the rough-hewn charm of pioneering days in the early 1900s. Locals live off the land, make their own culture and keep things simple. On a deeply quiet night in this frontier town, you just might find yourself hearing things; and if you happen to be gifted young composer Rob Mosher, that could sound like the music Schumann and Prokofiev might play were you to find them, drunk as can be, side-by-side on the bench of a saloon piano in the wild west.
Though Polebridge is clearly chamber music, there are occasional forays including an Appalachian fiddle tune, an otherworldly Klezmer number, a healthy dose of country swagger and plenty of improvisation throughout. Stellar musicianship and first-rate compositions make this charming release a surprising and satisfying listen.
So come visit Polebridge; stay a while.
Around the Bend
Parade of Two
Rango’s Tango (full take)
Klezmanaughts (live from the Montreal Jazz Festival)
Rob Mosher, music/woodwinds; Micah Killion, trumpet; John Marcus violin; Stephanie Nilles, piano; Andrew Small, bass.
Guests: Petr Cancura, mandolin (Track #4); Peter Lutek, contra-alto clarinet and bassoon (Track #10)