by Todd S. Jenkins
Versatile Atlanta-based bassist Moore’s new album is packed with fun grooves from the word go. His technique and ideas are steeped in the electric bass developments of the past thirty years, but with a fresh contemporary edge.
The band fries up a hot passel of funk on track #1. The horns are hot and deep into the boogie, Moore’s envelope-filtered bass adds a Bootsy Collins vibe, and Aquarium Rescue Unit guitarist Jimmy Herring tempers the sauce with a cupful of hot bluesiness. Tracks #2 and #5 give the expected nod to Jaco; track #3 begins with thumping worthy of Marcus Miller and evolves into pretty double-stops. These tracks especially flaunt Moore’s studio-quality chops.
Though most of their names are unfamiliar, Moore’s sidemen are complementary, empathetic and well chosen. Pianist Bill Anschell lays down a Ramsey Lewis-style groove on #7 and ‘Buzz’ Amato boots the organ around the floor before trumpeter Vance Thompson enters with soulful lyricism. Moore closes the disc with covers of classic songs by Led Zeppelin and Kansas. The former is driven smoothly along by Moore’s taut harmonics and fingerstyle melodicism, while the latter floats on an unexpectedly successful Latin jazz beat. Palmer Williams‘ vocals on the last tune are notably fluid and enjoyable. Joseph Patrick Moore is definitely a talent worth hearing, and this well-made disc will be of particular interest to electric bass aficionados.
Track listing: Datz It; Ashes To Ashes; Big Butt Bass; Soulcloud; Pause #3; Mumphis Cosanostra; Cosmic Dance; Going To California; Dust In The Wind.
Personnel: Moore, acoustic and electric basses, shaker; Jimmy Herring, guitar; Yonrico Scott, Phillip Smith, drums; Bill Anschell, Bob Marbach, piano; Frank “Buzz” Amato, keyboards; Vance Thompson, trumpet and flugelhorn; Stan Cherednik, alto and soprano saxes; Bryan Lopes, tenor sax; Palmer Williams Jr., vocals.
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock
Published: December 01, 2000
Bassically.net, October 2000
Review by Cliff Engel
Joseph Patrick Moore, former Col. Bruce Hampton bassist, released SOULCLOUD, his second solo instrumental jazz cd on October 10, 2000. Soulcloud is the follow-up effort to Moore’s 1996 independently released debut, NEVER NEVER LAND. As a freelance bassist, Moore has displayed the diversity of his musical talents in a wide array of musical genres including various form of jazz, rock, and blues music to name just a few. On SoulCloud Moore continues to demonstrate his versatility in a number of group settings including solo, duo, trio, and full blown ensemble settings. Moore, a multi-instrumentalist, switches seemingly effortlessly between fretted and fretless electric and upright basses.
Right from its onset you’ll notice that SoulCloud is an extremely well produced offering featuring Moore’s bass talents well in front of the mix (the way recordings ought to be). On a number of the tunes I detected the funky vibes of the Col. Bruce Hampton sound which I’m certain Moore picked up during the time he spent as a member of Hampton’s own Fiji Mariners and Planet Zambee ensembles. For those of you not familiar with the Col., it was he that helped launch the career of the now renowned bass artist, Oteil Burbridge. Also those of you well-versed with the Hampton library should immediately recognize the sounds of another Hampton sideman, guitarist Jimmy Herring, who appears as one of the many featured guest performers on SoulCloud.
Moore opens SoulCloud with a tight horn arrangement on DATZ IT (my favorite piece) and reveals his impeccable technique on acoustic and electric basses. Moore then presents us with the first of five original compositions with the fretless sounds of ASHES TO ASHES. Besides the phat funk grooves which Moore proves he can undoubtedly handle with ease, Moore takes center stage for a brief moment to exhibit his tasty solo slap chops on BIG BUTT BASS (very impressive indeed) before neatly sequeing into the album’s title track. Moore shifts to a trio format of electric bass, drums and sitar on PAUSE #3, an interesting piece dedicated to the late great Tony Williams. Next Moore offers you the listener the funky sounds of the very hip MUMPHIS COSANOSTRA. Then Moore continues to expand upon his deep-in-the-pocket bassmanship within the soulful sounds of COSMIC DANCE, another Moore original composition. Finally, Moore rounds out SoulCloud with two cover tunes, Led Zeppelin’s GOING TO CALIFORNIA is a brilliant duo arrrangement featuring the unlikely combination of electric bass and soprano saxophone. However, this is primarily a solo bass arrangement consisting of arpeggiated melodic, harmonic, and chordal content. I like how Moore tints the color of this piece with the short sax section that gracefully weaves in and out of the bass content. Moore then presents the listener with a jazzed up version of DUST IN THE WIND that highlights Moore’s upright skills during the outro solo. For those of you that discover the disc’s hidden track, you’ll hear the eerie harmonic-laden sound of ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TIME. A solo bass piece recorded on a rainy afternoon in Memphis, Tennessee back in 1994.
Bottom Line: If you have never heard the talent of Joseph Patrick Moore, it is just a matter of time before you will.
Bass Player Magazine April 1997
Review by Bill Leigh
Knoxville News Sentinel January 19, 1997
Showtime - Review by Wayne Bledsoe
Former Knoxvillian Joseph Patrick Moore has taken his funky bass to the wilds of Memphis. The bassist’s new disc, NEVER NEVER LAND is a likable collection of old fashioned funk and jazz fusion. The disc also features some of the cream of the Memphis Jazz scene. Cool tunes, including INTUITION and CORNER OF THE WORLD, are easy to listen to but are an edge above much of the lite jazz on the market. Moore and the band play with thought and feeling, and every now and then toss in a hot surprise. Some of the best cuts are filled with nice brass work, and soprano saxophonist Jim Spake often stands out in the talented group.
The disc may be hard to find, but its worth searching for.
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.
Bass Player Magazine October 1993
On the jazz side of the street, three promising students were recently named winners of $1,000 awards from the Milt J. Hinton Scholarship fund: Joe Martin, Joseph Moore, and Nathan Peck. Martin is a student at William Paterson College; Moore is hittin the books at Memphis State University; and Peck, a 16-year old from West Virginia, is planning to pursue private instruction. The judges were Milt Hinton himself (of course) and noted jazz bassists Jay Leonhart and Charnett Moffett. The winners were chosen on the basis of their performances, their background, and an assessement of the potential benefits of private instruction in furthering their musical development.