Thomas Moeckel: Lost Inside Your Memory


Lost Inside Your Memory


Thomas Moeckel (guitar)


Seasons (Brambus Records)

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Thomas Moeckel (guitar),

Gunter Kuhlwein (organ), Michael Chylewski (bass), Nick Liebmann (drums)


Composed by Thomas Moeckel


Recorded: Zurich, Switzerland, 1999


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

On a brief visit to Zurich in the fall of 2004, I was browsing through a CD bin in a music shop tucked into the Old Town district between the rocky, wooded hill that cradles the University of Zurich and the bank of the River Limmat, when I stumbled upon the album Seasons by a relatively unknown Swiss guitarist, composer and trumpet player named Thomas Moeckel. I say "relatively unknown" only because few in the U.S. have heard of him. However, he is fairly well respected in European jazz circles, having played with legendary jazzmen Jim Hall and Toots Thielemans, among others, and had won the Chrysler Jazz Poll two years in a row. If I were to compare his playing to any other guitarists, John Scofield or Steve Khan come to mind.

Recorded as a special project in the studios of Radio DRS, Seasons showcases Moeckel's triumvirate of talent: his brooding, thoughtful writing; edgy trumpet; and cutting-edge fusion guitar work. The album sounds as fresh today as it did ten years ago. One of my favorite tracks, "Lost Inside Your Memory," features Moeckel's guitar and offers a glimpse into the depth of his ability to play and write both aggressively and introspectively, in a dreamy composition a bit evocative of Kurt Weill. The guitar solo bursts with bluesy, modal expression, riding the crest of a lush Leslie-swirled wave generated by Gunter Kuhlwein's Hammond B-3, while the underlying pulse plods like the tortured heartbeat of one who is trying to forget a lost love. Hard bop it's not, but I've gotten lost inside this jewel of a composition on many blustery winter nights.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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