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Alex Moxon Quartet

own label

Alex Moxon Quartet

1. In a Capricornian Way (Woody Shaw) [6:57]
2. Kaleidoscope (Moxon) [7:22]
3. Mining for Gold (Moxon) [7:26]
4. Piety in Crescent Park (Moxon) [7:05]
5. Wood Chop (Moxon) [3:27]
6. Melodramatic Minors (Moxon) [6:31]
7. Black Hole Sun (Chris Cornell) [12:37]
8. Scientology (Moxon) [5:14]
9. Romantique (Moxon) [8:13]

Total playing time [64:52]

Alex Moxon (guitar), Steve Boudreau (piano), John Geggie (bass), Michael Delage (drums).

Rec. Morning Anthem Recording Studio, Cumberland, Ontario, Canada. Recording date not given: 2018?

Own label. No number


Over a decade and more, guitarist Alex Moxon has established a solid reputation while working with a wide range of musicians, largely in his native Ottawa. Moxon’s stylistic versatility is evident when one considers that he has given both a concert performance as guest guitarist with the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces and also a set of freely improvised music and “deconstructions of Spice Girl hits” at the Ottawa Jazz Festival in a duo with drummer Michel Delage. He has worked and recorded with at least two Canadian bands, the Hilotrons, an indie-pop band and the impressive funk jazz band The Chocolate Hot Pockets.

Something of that stylistic range can be heard on this, Moxon’s first album as a leader. Woody Shaw’s ‘In a Capricornian Way’ lets us hear Moxon as an advanced bop guitarist, with some passages which show affinities with, say, John Schofield. On ‘Black Hole Sun’, Moxon and his colleagues entirely remake the ‘grunge’ classic by the American band Soundgarden. There is much variety across the disc. As Moxon develops further I suspect that his own choices and surrounding circumstances will encourage the growth of a less eclectic approach.

Crescent Park’ is an utterly delightful prologue to what turns into a flowing ballad. Pianist Steve Boudreau makes an attractive and impressive contribution on this track as, indeed, he does on ‘Scientology’ and ‘In a Capricornian Way’. ‘Scientology’ is a very rapid piece in which drummer Delage, pianist Boudreau and leader Moxon are all heard to good effect, with bassist John Geggie underpinning everything authoritatively and sensitively. The tune’s considerable momentum is never achieved at the cost of detail or subtlety and the track demonstrates just what accomplished musicians these four are. This quartet is very much ‘together’, and I feel sure that the musicians must have worked together extensively.

This is a various, but consistently interesting, disc from which a strong sense of the talented leader’s musical personality emerges. In terms of technique Alex Moxon clearly has very little to learn, but his future development in broader musical terms will surely lead to even finer work. As it is, this first album seems certain to make frequent visits to my CD player.

Glyn Pursglove

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