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Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Latin Jazz


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"All About Jazz"

Co-led by Berklee graduates keyboardist Gilson Schachnik and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli (best-known for his work with pianist Hiromi Uehara), Mozik's self-titled debut CD features the sort of fusion-tinged Brazilian jazz made popular a couple of decades ago by artists such as Airto Moreira, Azymuth, and Egberto Gismonti. Playing a program comprised largely of classic Antonio Carlos Jobim pieces ("A Felicidade," "O Amor em Paz," and "Desafinado") and recognizable modern jazz selections by Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock, Mozik's modus operandi combines intense focus with a characteristically Brazilian sort of hip, breezy nonchalance.

The quintet's two original tunes have a similar flavor—neither "Web's Samba" nor "Zelia," both penned by Schachnik, would have sounded out of place on an early Azymuth LP. Outwardly friendly and sunny, both tunes feature funky hard-hitting percussion and somewhat darker intervals that epitomize the Brazilian concept of saudade.

The quintet provides a contemporary take on three easily recognizable Jobim tunes—its interpretations nimbly straddle the line between slavish reverence and complete overhaul. Guitarist Gustavo Assis-Brasil shines on "A Felicidade," his clean tone, mind-boggling chops, and fastidious attention to detail suggest influences such as Mick Goodrick and John Abercrombie, though his harmonic and melodic ideas are completely his own. Zottarelli's drumming here is also remarkable, seamlessly blending funk, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian rhythms in a particularly stimulating fashion.

Assis-Brasil, this time on nylon-string acoustic guitar, is also out front on "O Amor em Paz" (Once I Loved) which benefits from Schachnik's appropriately lush arrangement. Mozik's take on "Desafinado" features some intricate rhythmic modulations, fine solos by Shachnik and bassist Fernando Huergo, and lots of lovely flute from Yulia Musayelyan. Departing somewhat from the fusion-esque aspects of Brazilian jazz, Mozik really delve into samba on the CD-closing "Canto das Tres Racas." Zottarelli's percussion gives this piece an Afro-Cuban feel, while Musayelyan's airy, primal flute flutters nimbly over Schachnik's piano.

The remainder of the CD is similarly engaging. The quintet's high-energy take on Hancock's rarely-covered classic "Eye of the Hurricane" gives Schachnik an opportunity to show off his Rhodes chops and Assis-Brazil a chance to demonstrate the high- energy aspects of his playing. Monk's "Pannonica," by contrast, gets a relaxed, samba-like treatment that suggests some of Jerry Gonzalez' Latin-ized Monk rearrangements.

Never veering off into smooth jazz irrelevance, or overly-abstruse experimentation, Mozik's music effectively, sweetly pays tribute to the salad days of Brazilian jazz without going completely retro. The quintet's music is both warm and intelligent, while retaining the sort of funky playfulness that some may interpret as an invitation to dance. - All About Jazz


Mozik--a quasi-fusion, quasi-Brazilian group led by two Berklee graduates-begins its self-titled debut release with a burst of frenetic energy, a busy piano line that seems to aurally reproduce the hustle and bustle of city life. "Web's Samba" soon settles down into the melody, with Yulia Musayelyan's dulcet flute tones subduing Gilson Schachnik's disjunct piano playing. Schachnik wrote the piece, along with another track, "Zelia"; these compositions are full of harmonized, prog-like feats of musical muscle.
Russian-born Musayelyan is, arguably, the center of the album. She's a vibrant enough flute player to have no trouble standing as the main voice of the ensemble and can hold her own leading the group. Her tone is pure and crisp, no doubt a result of her classical upbringing, and she has no trouble keeping the group's many moving parts together.
Schachnik's compositions are comprehensive introductions to the Mozik style, but the real treat is the band's reading of Herbie Hancock's "Eye of the Hurricane" and "Desafinado" by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The two melodies are given a rhythmically disorienting quality that, instead of detracting from the original composers' intentions, adds new layers to two well-worn charts. On the other side of the spectrum, a piano trio reading of Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" is sped up and given a smooth Brazilian sheen.
Mozik certainly owes a lot to the 1980s. This connection to fusion history-its warts as well as its triumphs-could be a non-starter for some, but Mozik pulls off the dance between self-indulgence and quirky anachronism while keeping the music vivacious and exciting.

-Jon Ross - DownBeat Magazine

"Music Review: Gilson Schachnik and Mauricio Zottarelli - Mozik"

For whatever reason, I don’t tend to dig jazz flute. There’s something altogether corny about it in my mind, something that is perhaps more involved with Will Ferrell’s performance in Anchorman than any actual experience or dislike for jazz flute. But all the same, it hasn’t exactly been my listening weapon of choice.

With their new record Mozik, pianist Gilson Schachnik and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli offer a take on Brazilian jazz that happens to include, yep, a jazz flute. In this case, the flutist is Russia's Yulia Musayelyan.

Here, the flute doesn’t sound the least bit corny or out of place in the context of Brazilian jazz and bossa nova. On the contrary, Musayelyan’s playing easily sinks into the arrangements and helps to accentuate the rhythms. Musayelyan’s playing isn’t all flourishes and flavours; it highlights, brightly assisting Zottarelli’s varying beats while dancing with Gustavo Assis-Brasil’s guitar and Schachnik’s keys.

Now you can’t have an album of Brazilian jazz without including some standards from Antonio Carlos Jobim. Mozik has three such arrangements, each one lovingly tinkered with by Schachnik. The theme from Black Orpheus, “A Felicidade,” is a standout with its slow-burning gait that doesn’t ignore the melancholy of the original while building to inevitable bliss.

There’s also some traditional jazz, with Herbie Hancock’s “Eye of the Hurricane.” The piece, a beautiful standard of modal jazz with its slow-moving harmonies, is lovingly kissed by Brazilian jazz rhythms and Assis-Brasil’s velvety strings.

This combination of players may never have come to fruition had it not been for Schachnik’s influence on Zottarelli. “I didn’t want anything to do with Brazilian music when I was there,” Zottarelli says. “I was very much into heavy metal, blues, rock, and a little fusion. But when I got to Berklee, people assumed I know Jobim’s music, that I could play samba, and I couldn’t. When Gilson presented me some of those Dom Salvador records, it gave me a chance to get to know the music…and that’s how it all started.”

Schachnik was born and raised in Sao Paulo and started playing organ at age 11, learning through his love of Deep Purple. He broke into the club scene early on and accompanied Patricia Marx and Rosa Maria on the road. By 1990, he had won a scholarship to Berklee and graduated with a degree in jazz composition.

The history of these two musicians shines through with every note of Mozik, an enticing album of Brazilian jazz that is bathed with a wealth of influences from various genres. And then there’s that damned jazz flute, hot as hell and causing me to rethink my whole hardline stance on the thing.

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Mozik - Mozik

Mozik are pianist Gilson Schachnik and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli, and through one of those strange ironies of fate they only began to play Brazilian music after arriving in Boston from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The reignited passion for their homeland's music has led to this, their debut album - a collection of eight tracks of vibrant, good humoured Brazilian Jazz. With some of the tracks written by these gentlemen and others being covers of tracks by Jazz giants such as Herbie Hancock, Thelonius Monk and Antonio Carlos Jobim, this an album rich in those exotically lush melodies and rhythms. The remaining members of Mozik [for this album at least] are: Yulia Musayelyan - flute, Fernando Heurgo - bass, and Gustavo Assis-Brasil - guitar. The eight track titles are: Web's Samba, A Felicidade, Eye Of The Hurricane, O Amor Em Paz, Pannonica, Zelia, Desafinado, Canto Das Tres Raças. This may be Jazz, but there is a strong vein of pop also running through the album - it is very easy on the ear. You wouldn't know it from listening to this album but some of these musicians didn't meet or play together until the recording dates, which seems phenomenal to these humble ears, as it sounds like they have been playing together for many years. They just sound so connected. It is rare to find an album that just radiates sunshine and good vibes from the first note, but Mozik is one of those rarities and should be embraced and cherished for the upcoming winter months. Highly recommended.

For more information about this artist, album and availability visit: & - Musicwatch

"Kyle O'Brien reviews Jazzscene"

Mozik, Mozik.
Pianist Gilson Schachnik and drummer Mauricia Zottarelli are both Brazilian natives, but it wasn't until the two got to Berklee College of Music in Boston that they found their calling — to play Brazilian music without the traditional trappings. That means incorporating the music that influenced them that wasn't from their home state of Sao Paulo (including Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, along with rock, blues and classical influences). They gathered an international band, including Russian flutist Yulia Musayelyan, Brazilian guitarist Gustavo Assis-Brasil and Argentine bassist Fernando Huergo, and made a clean, crisp album that is heavily South American but with a few touches to make it less traditional. The first two tracks are fairly straightforward samba-meets-bossa, with Musayelyan's lovely, assured flute anchoring the melody. For guys who didn't want to go the traditional route, it's surprising that they chose so many Jobim tunes, including the ubiquitous "Desafinado." Luckily, they've transformed the tune with Afro-Cuban rhythms in the mix, along with chord alterations. They also take Monk's "Pannonica" and add layers of backbeat and polyrhythm, then make Hancock's "Eye of the Hurricane" a Brazilian fusion samba. It's not a huge departure, but it does keep the tunes fresh, and the expertise of the musicians keeps it integral.
2011, Mozik, 55:10. - Jazz Society of Oregon


GILSON SCHACHNIK/Mozik: You see, in the end , it's all a matter of perspective. This bunch of Brazilian cats have their promo up and say they are rebelling against samba and all that old school Brazilian bullshit the geezers keep cramming down their throats. Well, to gringo ears, this sounds like some upbeat Brazilian jazz that Sergio Mendes would have made if he wasn't under the thumb of the commercial 60s dictates of A&M, who did a good job of guiding him to the good life. Not that we want to dampen this creative spirits, but this simply sounds like a groovy record by a bunch of young lions with chops to spare. Maybe when they leave the saudade to the Portuguese, Brazilians are only capable of producing bouncy, happy music no matter what they want to call it. This is smoking stuff, that's what I call it. - Midwest Record


Mozik (2011)



Led by Brazilian keyboardist Gilson Schachnik and drummer Mauricio Zotterelli, the band Mozik combines Brazilian folkloric rhythms with electronic keyboard textures, allowing jazz/funk harmonies to blend with classic rhythms such as Frevo, Baiao, Maracatu and Samba. This exciting and unique music can be heard on the group’s debut album, Mozik, which features arrangements and original compositions written by Schachnik.


Gilson Schachnik (Brazil)

Recorded with: Miguel Zenon, Antonio Sanchez, Claudio Roditti, Paulo Braga, Café, Luciana Souza, Jerry Bergonzi, Bill Pierce, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, Pery Ribeiro among others.

Full bio available at:

Mauricio Zottarelli (Brazil)

Tours with: Hiromi, Eliane Elias.
Performed/Recorded with: Rosa Passos, Joe Locke, Claudio Roditti, Dom Slavador among others.

Full bio available at:

Yulia Musayelian (Russia)

Tours with: Marta Gomez Quintet, Fernando Huergo Group.
Principal soloist with Camerata New York Orchestra.

Full bio available at:

Gustavo Assis-Brasil (Brazil)

Performed/Recorded with: Hiromi, Tony Grey, Prasanna, Greg Hopkins, Tim Reis, among others.

Full bio available at:

Fernando Huergo (Argentina)

Performed/Recorded with: Guillermo Klein, Luciana Souza, Danilo Perez, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Randy Brecker, Miguel Zenon, Antonio Sanchez, among others.

Full bio available at: