As a bass player Mike Gordon likes to experiment. With Phish he is the guy who brought in non-(prog)rock stuff such as bluegrass and folk. On his solo albums he pulls out his bag of tricks switching from funk to jazz to calypso. His third, Moss, is another showcase of his versatility.
He can hold down any tempo in the musical universe, but it takes time and effort to keep it interesting. Solo records tend to be a bit self-indulgent. Having a free hand and being away from the regular band blueprint can lead to records that lack focus. Some of the material on Moss dates as far back as 2002, but the bulk was created in 2007 and 2008. He wasn't touring much and wrote dozens of songs and taped jam sessions, some of them co-written with Jared Kossoff.
A selection of those sessions ended up on his previous solo album The Green Sparrow, but he hasn't been scraping the barrel to fill Moss. It's an organic (no pun intended) album. From the opening track Can't Stand Still (co-written with Kossoff, Jon Fishman and Page McConnell) he leads the listener on a journey through Gordon land, where things can get weird in a good way (What Things Seem) and that empty spaces don't need to be filled (The Void).
Musicians on the album include Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Marco Benevento, Joe Russo, Ken Lovelett, Doug Belote, Gordon Stone and Todd Isler. They all bring their stuff to the table, but it's chef de cuisine Gordon who decided what the awaiting clientele is going to digest. Still a required taste for some, Moss is his best solo effort so far.
- Can't Stand Still
- Horizon Line
- Fire From A Stick
- What Things Seem
- Babylon Baby
- The Void
- Got Away
Video: Making Moss with Mike Gordon