Max Von Mosch Orchestra ‘Berlin Kaboom!’ (ACT) 3/5

Max_Von_Mosch_OrchestraMulti-reedist, composer and leader Max Von Mosch has fit a great deal into his thirty-three years thus far, obtaining a PhD in Music at the New England conservatory in Boston and has put together a progressive orchestra that is already attracting attention in his native Germany. This album captures the orchestra live at the Jazz club Unterfahrt in Munich from July 2012 and they have been in existence since 2006. Divided into various jazz suites, the title track typifies the mood of the album overall, sub-divided into five parts with part one being an expansive waltz-like piece while part two is more reflective in nature and is arguably the most lyrical number on the entire album. The sound quality of the performance is excellent, yet still manages to retain an intimacy. If the ambition of its leader is beyond question, there is nonetheless an indefinable quality lacking here which is possibly linked to a missing ingredient of originality or even just an absence of soulfulness. Many of the new generation are extremely well schooled in the history of jazz and moreover have an eclectic approach to incorporating non-jazz elements. However, they invariably ignore one of the key factors which is whether the music has the ability to affect the emotions of the listener. Max Von Mosch would be well served re-examining this aspect of his music and if he does, then he is sure to make rapid progress. Tim Stenhouse