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Miles Mosley headlines with the Glendale Pops Orchestra at the Alex Theatre

October 05, 2012|By Kirk Silsbee
  • Miles Mosley, a bassist and composer, headlines Saturday with the Glendale Pops Orchestra at the Alex Theatre.
Miles Mosley, a bassist and composer, headlines Saturday… (Courtesy of SB Music…)

Glendale Pops subscribers probably don’t know the name or music of 30-year-old Miles Mosley, a bassist and composer who headlines Saturday with the Glendale Pops Orchestra at the Alex Theatre. The pairing is a departure for a series more likely to feature artists with identifiable histories that make for a pleasant date night.

“I’ve always been a proponent of showcasing new talent,” says Glendale Pops director Matt Catingub of the booking. “It’s part of my mission to include this type of a showcase along with the things we did in our first season. As a pops organization, we have the freedom to explore many different musical angles.”

Mosley is a rare combination of instrumental virtuoso and ensemble visionary who was classically trained on the contrabass at the Colburn School of Music. John Clayton, the bass giant who’s equally proficient in classical and jazz, mentored him. Clayton is also a formidable composer/orchestrator and his influence on Mosley is incalculable.

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“John treated me like a son,” Mosley says, during a break from mixing his forthcoming “Roar” CD.

Dig into the personnel and musical credits for Christina Aguilera, Herbie Hancock, India Arie, Chris Cornell and Jason Mraz and you’ll find Mosley’s name. He composed, arranged, co-produced, and played on actor Terence Howard’s “Shine Through It” CD. That debut effort bowed at No. 6 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart.

Barbara Sealy’s SB Music Management oversees the business aspects of Mosley's music. She had been responsible for bringing the activities of the Thelonious Monk Institute to the L.A. City Schools. Hamilton High, where Mosley attended, was one such school.

“Miles was one of a group of young musicians” at Hamilton, Sealy recalls. They were all more or less good, but there was something about what Miles played that stood out. You could just feel it; even though he hadn’t been playing for very long.”

She kept an eye on Mosley as he matured and, when he was ready, she knew she wanted to work with him. “He’s a great bass player,” she says, “but he’s also an incredible writer and arranger. He gets hired to play for people like Lauryn Hill, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Mos Def and Common — and he ends up writing, arranging or being their musical directors.”

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