Music Review—An Olde Farewell

Artist: Todd Mosby
Single: “An Olde Farewell”

Award-winning composer and guitarist, Todd Mosby, has released his new single “An Olde Farewell”.  The song is a jazz, new age, and fusion re-imagining of the holiday classic, “Auld Lang Syne”, and is available for streaming anywhere you get your music.  It features Todd Mosby as composer, as well as acoustic and electric guitars; Lola Kristine on vocals; Steve Davis on drums; and Ben Coen on acoustic bass.

According to his website, Todd Mosby is an Indian and jazz guitarist, and “is the only guitarist to become a member of the famed Imdhad Khani Gharana of musicians, India’s most prestigious family of sitar musicians dating back 500 years to Tan-Sen and the Moghul courts.  Encompassing elements from jazz, raag, classical, folk, bluegrass and jazz, Mosby has created his own musical syntax.  The result creates a distinct style which is unique to Mosby’s sound and sense of composition, transcending known genres of music.  His dedicated 13-year study of classical North Indian music with Ustadt Imrat Khan led to the development of acoustic and electric versions of the Imrat guitar, a hybrid sitar-guitar bridge instrument for crossing musical platforms and cultures”.

On why he chose to re-imagine this particular song, Mosby states, “The melody has a feeling of timelessness which lends itself into interesting areas of reharmonization, development and improvisational concepts […] I find the melody the most intriguing aspect of this song.  It has a haunting, distant beauty with very memorable qualities.”

Mosby goes on to credit the unique history and mythology surrounding the iconic “Auld Lang Syne” and its origins in Ireland 12,000 years ago.  As Irish legend has it, the song was carried by remnant survivors of an ancient civilization called Atlantis.  Crossing the sea in search of new lands, reflecting on acquaintances lost but not forgotten, along with a strong spirit of hope, they landed in what is now present-day Ireland.  In remembrance of that time and event, this song has been handed down through the millennia.

If you’re still unsure exactly which classic holiday song is “Auld Lang Syne” is (I’ll admit I had to look it up)—the song is featured in several classic movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Forest Gump, and Elf.  It is also the subject of Billy Crystal’s famous rant at the end of When Harry Met Sally.  “Auld Lang Syne” has become synonymous with Christmas, the New Year, and new beginnings in Western culture.

“An Olde Farewell” is a very pleasant jazz song.  It begins with a lone guitar and slowly builds to add more instruments, and finally adding haunting lyric-less vocals in the last minute of the song.  Unfortunately, I don’t find it to be anything special.  In the nearly four-minute song, it sounds like Mosby is playing the same chords on repeat.  There are not any solos or anything to add interest to the song other than the slow build of instruments.  In my opinion, you just can’t compete with the classics.

Overall, I didn’t feel that the re-imagining did “Auld Lang Syne” any justice.  “An Olde Farewell” would make for lovely background music to your next Christmas party, study session, or wait at the doctor’s office.

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