Diane Moser, WDMO, Planet Arts 301240, 2012.

Track Listing and samples

  1. It’s You Music, Lyrics: Diane Moser Music (ASCAP)
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  2. Rhythms Diane Moser Music (ASCAP)
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  3. Monk’s Mood/Monk’s Dream T. Monk/Embassy Music Corp. (BMI) Thelonious Monk Corp. (BMI)
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  4. Summertime Prelude, Diane Moser Music (ASCAP); George & Ira Gershwin/Dubose Heyward WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
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  5. One Love Poem/Music: Diane Moser Music (ASCAP); Production/Remix: Chad Moser
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  6. One for Mal Diane Moser Music (ASCAP)
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  7. For My Father/Deep River/My Buddy Diane Moser Music (ASCAP); Traditional Spiritual; Donaldson/Kahn WB Music Corp (ASCAP)
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  8. For My Mother Diane Moser Music (ASCAP)
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  • Diane Moser — piano
  • Duncan Moore — drums
  • Rob Thorsen — bass
  • Peter Sprague — guitar, track 1
  • Will Parsons — percussion, track 1
  • Marguerita Page — vocals, track 1 & 5
  • Mary Redhouse — vocals, track 7
  • Chad Moser — production/remix, track 5

Recorded 2002 & 2007 at SpragueLand Recording Studio, Encinitas, CA Peter Sprague — Engineer Recording with Mary Redhouse 2003, John Guth Recording Studio, Valley Cottage, NY John Guth — Engineer Produced by Diane Moser Mixed & Mastered by John Guth Package Design: Bruce Hanson at EGADS Back Cover Photograph: Dennis Connors Photography www.PlanetArts.org

Liner Notes

More than a decade ago, multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson called to say, “If you don’t know Diane Moser, you should — you would like her.” The name wasn’t familiar, but the recommender’s credentials are impeccable. As someone who has worked with Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner, and Randy Weston, Howard knows from pianists and composers. I checked out Diane, a.k.a. D-Mo, soon afterward and, as they say in Blazing Saddles, “Howard Johnson is always right.” Since then, I’ve heard the Montclair, NJ., resident in contexts from solo piano to duets to her long-running Composers Big Band to soundtracks and underscoring. The range and depth of her musical vision never fails to delight and impress me. That range and depth is evident on this outing, in which D-Mo joins forces with a group of long-time, mostly San Diego-based collaborators. On first listen, I felt as if I had tuned into a cool and esoteric radio station with an adventurous and intuitive prorammer at the controls. The station’s call letters would have to be WDMO, Radio D-Mo. As with a well-programmed radio set, each selection in this satisfying mix has a distinct personality. Sometimes the mood shift is startling but it’s always intriguing. Many of the compositions have a back-story providing a window to Diane’s life. The lilting, upbeat opener, “It’s You,” could be a top 40 hit in a more tasteful era. The tune came to Diane as a whole piece while she prepared cookies on Thanksgiving; she jotted lyrics in a notebook while driving to dinner. The tasty treats D-Mo made are now known as the “It’s You cookies.” “Rhythms” travels through moods and vibes, starting out luscious, turning terse. Diane composed the piece while pregnant with her son, Chad Moser: She sat at the piano and improvised along with his kicks. The medley of “Monk’s Mood” and “Monk’s Dream” exhibits the two sides of the Thelonious Monk coin. Heads or tails the listener wins. D-Mo’s sultry and introspective take on “Summertime” proves that the ability to thrill is not gone from this oh-so-familiar tune. The hip-hop infected spoken-word piece “One Love,” mixed by D-Mo’s now full-grown son, Chad, reminds us that life is short, so pay attention. An adenturous cooker, “One for Mal” evokes the late pianist Mal Waldron’s left-hand-that-rules-the-world aproach without mimicy. During a break from writing, Diane took a walk through freshly fallen snow and heard church chimes, which she later wored into the tune. In “For My Father,” Diane references “Deep River,” which her dad often sang as a child, and “My Buddy,” which he had planned to sing at a funeral of a friend killed in World War II. Overcome with emotion, he decided against performing the sentimental tune, much to his later regret. The vocal is by Mary Redhouse, a collaborator with R. Carlos Nakai, one of Diane’s father’s faves. In 1988 as Diane pondered what to play at her mother’s memorial service, she recalled musical cryptograms Ravel and Debussy wrote for the centenary of Haydn’s death: compositions based on the letters of the late composer’s name. She used a similar approach for the heartfelt “For My Mother.” As diverse as the music is, it is linked by a thread of community and continuity that stretches over decades and runs from the heartland to both coasts. Diane met drummer Duncan Moore and percussionist Will Parsons at the University of Iowa, circa 1975; Diane and Duncan were band mates and both studieed with Will. Later she moved to San Diego, where she gigged woth guitarist Peter Sprague and vocalist Marguerita Page. Bassist Rob Thorsen, too is San Diego based; a more recent addition to the D-Mo zone, he came onboard in 2002. Diane and Redhouse met at an Oliver Lake concert in Bloomfield, NJ. So if you haven’t heard Diane Moser, it’s time to check her out. As Howard Johnson says, you would like her. and Howard Johnson’s alwys right. — Elzy Kolb, July 2012

Special thanks to everyone involved with this recording, your tallents, time, and compassion have made this recording a truly creative, exciting and spiritual expenence. Every day I give thanks to all of you for being in my life. I especially give thanks to my son Chad, Whose presence in my life brings me an incredible amount of joy and Love! A very huge thanks to everyone who came to my rescue when I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, went into the hospital, and came out cancer free. Your love and support made it possible for me to continue the music. Thank you for giving me my life back and for helping me to move forward. — Peace, D-Mo

How I Speak (For Diane Moser) So this is how I speak, White and black keys articulating my story ascending rhythms, notes rising to my mother, the woman who raised me, loved me and heard my plea for a piano, placed in a small space, to become my intimate roommate, my playmate, my companion, my confessor and my communicator. Like Morse, I tap out my code, creating harmonic messages that pulse from my fingers, conveyed on air, vibrating through space and time to say what needs to be said. — Marilyn Mohr, July 30, 2005

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