Diane Moser: Birdsongs (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

I have been writing reviews on a consistent basis for much longer than I care to remember: I started back with an electronic typewriter and when I looked up it had somehow become a Mac and more than 25 years had gone by. This means that I often get to hear music that I would otherwise never have come across, and while there are definite downsides to some of that, there are times when I hear albums like this and it all becomes worthwhile. Here we have music that is being created by Diane Moser (piano), Anton Denner (flute, piccolo) and Ken Filiano (bass), no drums or percussion.

The original improvisers of music were and are birds, and they have been the inspiration for this set of material, most of which are originals. Diane has been touring Birdsongs in various incarnations from solo through to big band and everything in between for more than a decade, but she finally decided to record with just Anton and Ken. “The reason I decided on this group with Anton and Ken, to record all of my birdsongs, was to give the music a little more space and lightness,” Moser explains. “I also knew that both Anton and Ken would play sonically in those in-between places that is so much like the songs and calls that birds make, not always an exact pitch, but somewhere in between.”

The result is a beautiful album, sometimes sounding as if the birds themselves are playing the music, and at others being inspired by them. Anton impersonates birds at the dawn chorus, Diane has a wonderful touch, while Ken not only plucks his bass in the traditional band style but also uses a bow to create a totally different feeling. The music is spacious, layered and relaxed, and the perfect way to start the day, at one with nature. Inspiring and inspired, this is a wonderful album for all jazz lovers, as well as those who want to hear music which is both beautiful and transcendent

Rating: 8/10


Track list:
1. Birdsongs for Eric
2. Hello
3. Dancin’ with the Sparrows
4. If You’ll Call Me, Then I’ll Call You
5. Won’t You Come out to Play
6. The (Un)common Loon
7. Variations On “A Hermit Thrush at Eve”
8. Folksong
9. When Birds Dream



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