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Q&A: Miles Mosley

The fiery, soulful bassist, singer and composer launches his Uprising

Miles Mosley (photo by Aaron Woolf Haxton)
Miles Mosley (photo by Aaron Woolf Haxton)

Musicians don’t often throw around terms like “business model” when explaining their approach to recording, but the folks who comprise the Los Angeles collective the West Coast Get Down don’t do much of anything in the usual way. The music on Uprising (World Galaxy/Verve), the new release from upright bassist, vocalist and composer Miles Mosley, was all cut during the same monthlong series of sessions in 2011 that produced saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s three-disc breakthrough, The Epic. (Since that project’s release, Mosley has raised his profile on the road with Washington, where his combustible arco solos, doused in electronic effects, can stop the show.) With roughly 170 tracks laid down by the Get Down musicians in total, there’s still plenty in the can: Mosley himself has two more albums’ worth of material to be cobbled into future releases.

“At the time, we didn’t think of it as a business model,” says Mosley, 36. “But when you can pool your resources everything gets cheaper; that’s obviously a perk. … To get us all in the room together, at all, is a tremendously difficult task, because in a week someone’s gonna get a call from Babyface or Andra Day or Chick Corea and be gone. Everyone knew it was a benefit to learn from the experience of being a sideman, but it was about time for us to invest in ourselves, our solo/bandleader projects.”

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