Ciara Moser, Blind. So what? Review


Ciara Moser, Blind. So what? Review

By Stamish Malcuss

Ciara-Moser-CoverCiara Moser’s debut album, Blind. So what?, is a beacon of exemplary musicianship and resilience in the spirited cadence of jazz fusion, where the lines between genres blur and the essence of musical exploration takes center stage. This self-released gem, unfurling its narrative since its October 20, 2023 unveiling, is a set of well-crafted music with a manifesto of perception, challenging the conventional understanding of what it means to see through music.

At the heart of Blind. So what? lies Dublin-born, Austria-raised, and Boston-based bassist and composer Moser and her journey, a narrative that is deeply interwoven with her identity as a blind musician. Her condition, far from being a limitation, shapes a unique vantage point from which she crafts a modern jazz fusion experience, replete with groove-laden funk and experimental forays into contemporary jazz/world music. Her virtuosic ability on the Fodera electric six-string bass is a technical showcase and a conduit for expression, navigating themes of memorization, spatial orientation, trust, and perception.

Moser’s educational odyssey at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the mentorship of luminaries like Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Joe Lovano, has not only refined her musicality but imbued her with a profound understanding of music as a vehicle for social change. This ethos is palpable throughout the album, where each composition, penned with lyrical and instrumental dedication, delves into various facets of music and blindness. The narrative force of “The Lady with a Green Cane” stands out, pairing poetry with free improvisation to create a tapestry of raw emotional textures.

The ensemble cast, comprising Berklee alumni and students, brings to life Moser’s vision with a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures. The collaborative spirit of the album shines through tracks like “I Trust,” “Memory,” “The Call to See Beyond,” “Different Ability,” “Humanity,” “Developing Senses,” “Sixth Sense,” and “Traveling.” Each piece is a testament to the collective artistry of the musicians, underscored by Moser’s stunning two-minute bass intro on “Humanity” and the intricate odd-metered rhythms of “Traveling.”

Blind. So what? opens with a screen reader reciting the album title in 16 languages, setting the stage for an album that transcends linguistic barriers and invites listeners into a world where music is the primary means of perception, from the tight funk grooves of “I Trust” to the evocative landscapes of “Traveling,” Moser and her ensemble craft a sonic journey that is as much about the art of jazz as it is about challenging societal perceptions of disability.

Blind. So what?is a standout musical project with a statement on humanity, inclusion, and the transformative power of music. Moser’s Blind. So what? Introduces us to her modern jazz fusion sound, offering a fresh perspective on the genre while advocating for a deeper understanding of the blind community’s experience and capabilities. It’s a vivid reminder that in the realm of jazz, as in life, it’s not the limitations but the possibilities that define us.

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