Shoot the Moon – The art of writing a painting

Glasgow based jazz ensemble Mezcla. (Credit: Mezcla)

With a sound that blends world music, Latin influences and traditional jazz, Mezcla have established themselves as one of the central characters of the new wave Scottish Jazz scene. Today, the Glasgow ensemble have released their eagerly awaited debut Shoot the Moon.

Band leader David Bowden met me in the laid-back hangout Glad Cafe to talk about the album’s sound, the inspiration behind some of the songs and his plans for the future.

After a sip of coffee and a bite of cake, David told me about the sound of the record: “It’s a development of what’s been heard before… this is kind of the culmination of everything we’ve done so far.”

“There’s definitely some Scottish influence there,” which led us onto how locations can act as inspiration. “Pieces can be more like vibes or moods… like a painting of a landscape, you can evoke that with instrumental music.”

After pausing for a second, Bowden disclosed, “Honestly jazz musicians often struggle naming tunes and then think ‘I like that place – let’s go with that!’”

Continuing on the topic of process: “Usually the ideas are not really connected to much, generally it’s stuff that just comes to me like a tune or a riff, that usually comes into my head when I’m trying to do something else,” adding, “I had one recently on the London underground where I sang it and then listening back, it’s all just the noise of the underground… without the chords, it’s sometimes just mindless babbling.”

Our conversation then shifted to plans for the future: “For the band, the hope is to get more festivals around the UK and touring Europe a bit more as we’ve yet to do that with this band.

“I’d like to put music out with the band more regularly,” concluding that he wants to “keep developing the sound more.”

We end on the upcoming tour, which begins with the album launch at London jazz club Vortex on the February 12, but David admits that the Glasgow gig will “spiritually and emotionally” feel like record’s opening.

To hear the full conversation listen to the track below:

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