Way Back

SSC1692 2023-06-09

Track List

The Ancient Song - 5:54
Way Back - 6:13
Bachian - 6:08
In This Position - 7:19
Meaning In A Streetlight - 4:57
Wintry Mix - 6:51
Liz - 5:07
Doom Scroll - 6:26
La Bruja - 5:37
Checkup - 4:55


Davy Mooney - guitar, vocals
John Ellis - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Felipe Pinaud - piano
Thiago Alves - bass
Paulinho Vicente - drums

One of the most valuable gifts of travel is to gain the friendship of those you meet from other cultures. For a musician, this is fundamental in widening a net of collaborators and musical inspiration. The recent pandemic shut down the populace’s normal travel patterns, disrupting these exchanges. On his new recording, Way Back, guitarist Davy Mooney celebrates the return of international travel and his renewed musical partnership with his collaborators in Brazil.

Traveling to Brazil has become a regular fixture in Mooney’s life since meeting his Brazilian girlfriend, now wife, in 2001. Though he had always been intrigued by the natural combination of jazz guitar with Brazilian music, it wasn’t until 2011 that Mooney began reaching out to musicians in São Paulo and Campinas. He met drummer Paulinho Vicente, bassist Thiago Alves, and pianist Felipe Silveira, with whom he established a fast and deep rapport. They group began to perform and conduct workshops whenever Mooney traveled to the region.

Naturally, the Brazilian ensemble lent itself to playing Brazilian music in an authentic manner. They also reinterpreted Mooney’s eclectic music, which blends elements of pop and rock with jazz, in a unique, organic way.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Mooney experienced a burst of creative energy spurred on by the uncertainty of what lay ahead for the world at large. He began to compose a large part of the music that can be heard on Way Back. The title also references how many of these newer compositions echoed the late-1990s jazz music stylistically; this music was so influential to Mooney in his formative years, especially while studying at NOCCA in New Orleans.

Mooney knew that one of his first post-pandemic bits of business would be to return to Brazil and record this new music with Vicente, Alves, and Silveira. Mooney also wanted to include a voice that has been present since his days in New Orleans and on his earlier albums, woodwind master John Ellis. Ellis’s melodic playing on saxophone and bass clarinet suits Mooney’s sing-song pieces perfectly. So, in July 2022, the ensemble and Ellis convened at Gargolândia Studio in the woods outside of Campinas, Brazil, to record Way Back.