Composer, producer and performer Joseph Patrick Moore weaves tribal rhythms into funk, pop and jazz melodies on his eighth solo release, "To Africa With Love". Mr. Moore connects with some old friends and new ones in this dedication to the Land of the Sahara. The work itself contains 13 songs that range in genre from Contemporary Jazz to Funk to Rock to Contemporary.
Moore and company utilize funky blues man Charlie Wood to spark a contemporary version of the Meters classic "Fire on the Bayou" that requires the listener to get out of their seat and move. The opening track wastes no time showing off Mr. Moore's unmatched talent on the bass as the opening bass riff socks the listener between the eyes. It's off to the races as the blistering take on the Meters' standard blends rock and urban rhythms while never losing touch with that classic southern funky feel.
The title track, "To Africa With Love" is a touching, current love song to a continent that has experienced so much injustice and tragedy. Featuring Dove award winner Seth Condrey on vocals, this touching remembrance is equally at home in Adult Contemporary or Contemporary Christian radio. When queried about the motivation for the song, Mr. Moore says, "...Music has the power to uplift, connect, heal and create universal harmony for the human race. As God's vessel, each of us are on a spiritual journey to develop and embrace the gifts He has given to us...and share them for and with our fellow man".
"Stained Glass Aura" is another standout adventure. Bold contemporary jazz bass and forceful urban rock rhythms weave in and out of the sweetest of pop melodies. Moore's masterful production and arrangement on this piece really showcase his wizardry on both the fretless and fretted bass in ways that awe and inspire the imagination.
"To Africa With Love" is an inspirational devotional to the people of Africa. It is a vibrant explorations into the genres and textures that inform contemporary composer, producer and performer Joseph Patrick Moore. Catch Moore's inspiring work in the upcoming tour with Earl Klugh and Bob James or at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in Chicago with Earl Klugh.
One of the most highly regarded trombonist of his generation, Ron Westray continues to expand upon the legacy set before him with his CD release, "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City".
Ron's work as an instructor, mentor, recording artist and leader, has earned him world-wide recognition. Ron is perhaps best known for his work as lead trombonist in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra conducted by Wynton Marsalis, as well as his collaborative effort with Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts and the Charles Mingus Big Band. Now Ron Westray brings his compositional vision and improvisational skills to his latest CD effort, "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City". Featuring Ryan Kisor on trumpet, Walter Blanding Jr. on tenor saxophone, Eric Revis on Double Bass, Montez Coleman on drums and Tony Suggs on keyboards.
While "Medical Cures..." is a groove based recording, its steeped in a rich traditional jazz history, yet with a modern contemporary appeal. "The idea behind the recording" states Ron, "was to compose a jazz/hip hop score and live iteration of the evolution of hip hop and jazz. I became a jazz musician, but I searched on the concept of why jazz couldn't be as popular as funk. Medical Cures is that answer" sites Ron. Song's like "Fuzzy Dice", "The Jiggy" and "Bumpsie's Got it" will have the listener dancing to the vibe while enjoying lush, rich harmonies from this stellar ensemble of players. Mr. Westray's compositional achievements allow him a notable position among jazz composers, additionally his accomplishments on the trombone showcase him as a virtuoso instrumentalist.
Ron has recorded as a sideman on labels such as Columbia, Sony Classical, and RCA Novus and his accomplishments in the field have gained him exposure in publications such as Ebony, Essence, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Life Magazine and The New Yorker. Fan's of Ron Westray's earlier works and collaborations won't leave the listener disappointed. If "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City" is any indication into Ron's vision, courage and longevity; Mr. Westray has a bright future indeed.
"Decade", the newest release by Joseph Patrick Moore on Blue Canoe Records, contains material compiled from his recording efforts spanning the years 1996-2005. Unlike other compilation or "best of" recordings, Decade is not a testimonial of past achievements but a preface, or glimpse, into the artist's future.
JPM is a master bassist, equally proficient with upright and electric instruments; his technical virtuosity and artistic curiosity has taken him in pursuit of many musical styles. It is apparent that Moore's works are inspired by mainstream jazz and contemporary jazz as well as r&b, gospel and pop. The result of this exploratory approach to composition is fresh, imaginative, and adds an air of excitement and serves as a foil to the all too often boring and overworked state of academic classroom jazz.
A great sense of adventure thrives in this compelling 80 minute, 19 song CD. Moore pays tribute to mentors Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis with original compositions "Herbie" and "Pause 1". His solo bass version of The Police tune "Masoko Tanga" and the full-band vocal rendition of Men at Work's "Down Under" (in the spirit of Hancock's "Possibilities" and Davis "Tutu") are evidence that pop music is an excellent source of inspiration of jazz arrangements. JPM's abilities come full circle on the title track: he composed and played all the instruments on this soon to be smooth jazz anthem.
If you are searching for music with rich textures and groove oriented arrangements, look no further than Joseph Patrick Moore's Decade on Blue Canoe Records. Aptly titled, it is a remarkable odyssey through the world of contemporary jazz.
Review by: Mark Sabbatini
When an album opens with a quirky reinterpretation of the 1980s hit “Down Under” it’s safe to assume the artist is looking to have a good time. Joseph Patrick Moore succeeds to a degree in bringing listeners along on Drum And Bass Society, Vol. 1, even if the cast of players doesn’t quite let its collective hair down enough to make this a consistent fun fest throughout. It’s an all-over-the-map jam band romp where nobody’s the life of the party, but almost everyone has something interesting to say if you focus on them amidst the din.
The fifteen tracks include seven originals by the bass player, plus reinterpretations of hits by groups such as Phish, The Specials, and The Fixx. It’s a radical departure from Moore’s 2002 multi-tracked solo album Alone Together, with the new release featuring more than twenty musicians and only a couple of songs where Moore solos—his arranging of this huge cast is the main contribution.
The most unfortunate moment is Moore’s slow reggae treatment of “Down Under,” which might have been a readily identifiable crowd-pleaser, but instead comes across as unimaginative and badly at odds with the album’s overall beat. The vocals are played straight and the instrumentalists avoid anything notable for a radio-safe four minutes. The concept works much better on “One Thing Leads To Another” as one of the wind players takes over immediately on flute and doesn’t let go throughout a peppery string of phrases. It’s hardly the inspired madness of the Bad Plus, but is a plus rather than a minus to the album.
Speaking of inspired madness, some of the better moments of it occur on the hybrid world/funk/whatever collage of “Cheesefrog Funk.” “Groove Messenger” delivers a decent bit of fusion in the style of Miles Davis, who Moore cites as one of his big influences. And the scope of variety can be seen on the rather flute-heavy New Agey “Rain Dance” and the almost mainstream jazz of “Herbie,” a tribute to pianist Herbie Hancock.
The CD, released on Moore’s Blue Canoe Records, has a $9 list price, and two songs, “Jamband Express” and “Groove Messenger (The Story of Jazztronica),” are available as free MP3 downloads from Moore’s web site and online vendors such as Amazon.com .
Moore has proven a solid player in a variety of settings since appearing on the recording scene in the mid 1990s, and this album ranks well among his releases. Fans wanting to hear him in this setting will likely be satisfied and new listeners of such music will find it worthwhile to at least investigate the free previews. Those wanting to hear his playing will find Alone Together a better and also intriguing bet, since the overdubbing includes unexpected sounds such as percussion generated by tapping on his bass.
The Commercial Appeal, September 28th, 1996
Review by Bill Ellis
The Commercial Appeal
If ever a case could be made for an ongoing jazz scene in Memphis, Moore's disc is it. The bass player's hand-picked ensemble is a roll call of the best of the best, including Jim Spake, Carl Wolfe, trumpeters Scott Thompson and Bill Mobley and clarinetist Lannie McMillian. Heard as well is Hammond B-3 organ phenom Charlie Wood and DDT Big Band singer Kelly Hurt, who adds a silky scat to one tune.
That Moore could gather such esteemed talent for his self-produced disc speaks volumes of the jazz bassman's talents. Moore, who has been featured in notable guitar magazines, plays around town these days with the Memphis Groovetet. His funky bass lines will bring to mind Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius, which is not bad company. He even does an all-bass arrangement of Coltrane's Giant Steps that makes such recent bass arranged efforts by Rob Wasserman puerile in comparison.
Full of melodic invention and deft charts, Moore's own compositions are much more than excuses to jam (something Pastorius wasn't always sensitive to). Moore's locally made NNL can hold its own with any national contemporary jazz record on the market today and deserves major label distribution.