The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s debut cd for Blue Canoe Records, “Blues Man from Memphis”, is a most adventurous big band effort featuring the work of Donald Brown. The recording also highlights the prodigious talents of three other world renowned artists: bassist John Clayton, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and saxophonist Greg Tardy.
Pianist Donald Brown (who also produced the cd) is considered to be one of the most innovative composers in the field of jazz today. Among the many accolades Brown has received, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis says: “Donald Brown is a genius.” Bassist Ron Carter adds: “For those who look around and ask, ‘Where is the next great jazz composer? Who is going to lead the music into the twenty-first century?’ Look no further. Donald Brown is here.” Brown’s compositions have been recorded by many artists. Wynton Marsalis’ recording of “Insane Asylum” on “J-Mood” was nominated for a Grammy, as was Donald Byrd’s recording of “Theme for Malcolm”.
As a testimonial to Donald Brown’s expertise as a piano player, the late Art Blakey professed: “Donald Brown is one of my favorite accompanists with The Jazz Messengers since Cedar Walton and Walter Bishop, Jr.”
The KJO is a supercharged, motivated ensemble formed in 1999 by trumpet player/arranger Vance Thompson. Although a large group (17+ members), they perform regularly and have played prestigious venues such as The Montreaux Jazz Festival. The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra has a wide fan base, largely due to the enthusiasm incurred by compelling and exciting arrangements and famous guest artists.
All of the compositions on this cd are by Donald Brown. The arrangements and orchestrations are by Vance Thompson and Bill Mobley, respectively.
“Blues Man from Memphis” is an ingenious, inspired work for the contemporary jazz big band. Twenty-first century jazz is alive and thriving.
"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: Pete Pardo
Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore’s latest album Live in 05 is a fun and spirited jazz-fusion collection of songs recorded at This House Rocks in Atlanta, Georgia on April 2nd, 2005. Moore has been busy over the last few years, putting out a few albums of his own as well as appearing on various other artist’s recordings. Here, he and his crack band of Al Smith on keyboards, drummer Jon Chalden, EWI player Al Mcspadden, and percussionist Emrah Kotan really give a five performance on eleven tracks of smokin’ and funky fusion, melodic cool jazz, and progressive tinged improvisations.
Moore himself is a very smooth player with some serious chops, whether he is laying down deep grooves or lean melodic solos on electric, fretless, or double bass. Fans of Victor Bailey, Gary Willis, John Pattitucci, Stanley Clarke, and Marcus Miller, will instantly dig Moore’s energetic style. Although there are plenty of great bass solos on the album, the live setting affords his bandmates to also get in on the action, especially keyboard player Smith, who launches into a wild synth frenzy on the funky “Gypsy Moon Father Sun”. He also provides a nice melodic foundation in which Moore can dig into some serious popping bass lines on the light jazz piece “Fall”. Drummers will love the percussion/drum spotlight “Drum Dance”, which allows Chalden and Kotan some room to show off before the song segues into the fine “Datz It (version 2005)”, a song with plenty of funk bass melodies and 70′s styled electric piano.
Ultimately it comes down to compositions, and Moore is no slouch in that department. These are all memorable tunes with catchy melodies, which go along just fine with the solid chops of the band. So if you in the mood for some well played and melodic modern jazzfusion, you can’t go wrong with Live in 05.
3. Prayer of Solitude
4. Chief Dagga
5. Gypsy Moon Father Sun
6. Bless You
8. Bebop Charlie
10. Drum Dance
11. Datz It (version 2005)
William Ellis - drums
Joseph Patrick Moore - bass
Shawn Perkinson - guitar
EMP Project releases sophomore CD dubbed, "Wherever We Go".
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.
E.M.P. Project’s debut and inspiring jazz trio recording, captures the magic, spirit and spontaneity of these gifted young artists. While ensconced in the jazz tradition, they borrow from other contemporary elements and styles to create a musical landscape and wonderland of sounds. Ellis, Moore and Perkinson will have you humming their melodies, dancing to their rhythms, and they’ll dazzle you with their amazing technical abilities. This debut effort from E.M.P. Project will demonstrate why Ellis, Moore and Perkinson are three of the youngest and brightest up and coming names on the jazz scene today.
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.