French Bass Magazine, "Bassiste Magazine" reviews JPM's latest CD release "Decade II 2006-2015". Follow Bassiste Magazine on Facebook and check out their website.
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 jazz fusion, 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)
Added: January 18th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score: 4 out 5 stars.
Reviewer: Lynda Dale MacLean
Reviewer’s Rating: 8
Joseph Patrick Moore is an accomplished bassist and composer and “Live in 05” recorded at “This House Rocks” in Atlanta, GA is a sensational Jazz album. I love the bass and percussion and felt the album, as a whole, had such a distinctive voice.
“SoulCloud” and “Mystery” have such a cool vibe going on. “Prayer of Solitude” darn this track was way too short; it was so awesome! “Datz It” (version 2005) ended the CD in style. “Live in 05” by Joseph Patrick Moore is a fine Jazz album that I really connected with.
BassGuitar Magazine (UK) November 2004
Review by Andy Long for ThirdBass. Commisioned by Bass Guitar Magazine.
Bass Guitar Magazine Issue 14
A surprisingly mellow version of Men At Work’s ‘Down Under‘ opens this latest project from Atlanta based session man Moore. It’s an colourful album that takes a tour around some of his influences, for instance the opening track is followed by a jazz arrangement of ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials and the songs of Tony Williams, Phish and The Fixx are also to be found. His own compositions are a cocktail of funk, jazz and soul shaken and stirred by a multitude of musicians. ‘Jamband Express‘ has a solid blues/funk feel with an irresistible groove and his tribute to Herbie Hancock, ‘Herbie‘ is a showcase for some outstanding soloing, Adam Nitti pops up on this track as an added bonus. Moore was recently named as one of the 100 greatest jazz bassist by Digital Dream Door and this album is the lastest testament to that achievement.
JPM appears in the December issue of Basics Magazine (issue #37/Nathan East). The song “Herbie” from JPM’s Drum and Bass Society Volume 1 CD is featured on the CD sampler that is included with every issue, as well as commentary and a transcription from Joseph about the recording of this tune. “Herbie” also features a guest appearance by bass wizard Adam Nitti.
AllAboutJazz.com – August 2004
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.
Vol. 5 No.3, Summer 2004
Review by Fred Adams
Joseph Patrick Moore’s Drum & Bass Society, Volume 1 has got to be one of the most intriguing new releases of the year. From the moment the disc begins, with a new spin on Men at Work‘s ‘Down Under,’ it is rapidly apparent that this Tennessee native’s musical odyssey is unlike anything else coming from the South, or anywhere else for that matter.
As much a composer as a bassist, the majority of the songs on this, Moore’s fourth solo release, are (very) original. From beginning to end, the songs are all well written, uniquely arranged, and performed with a confidence and purity of a performer doing something he obviously loves. While all of the material is strong, songs such as ‘Creatures of Conscience’ (featuring guest appearances by ARU alumni Count M’ Butu and Jeff Sipe), ‘Datz It’ (featuring Moore’s former Fiji Mariner band mate Dr. Dan Matrazzo on keyboards, along with Johnny Mosier on guitar), and the ‘Cheese Frog Funk‘ trilogy leave little doubt that this is an artist whose vast talents span many musical genres, from new age to jazz to reggae.
‘Jamband Express,’ also featuring Jeff Sipe on drums, is another masterfully played, and deceptively titled, track. While the songs name may lead one to expect sounds similar to the bass Moore became known for as he joined Col. Bruce Hampton‘s Fiji Mariners, not even a trace of his jam scene influences can be heard here. The track actually sounds more suited to be heard as the theme of a TV show, or movie soundtrack, than something one would hear on today’s jam scene.
While his own compositions are strong, Moore also seems to take great joy, and possess tremendous talents, in rearranging the material of others. Besides the aforementioned ‘Down Under,’ Moore also gives new life to another 80s pop hit, The Fixx’s ‘One Thing Leads to Another‘ (sung by George and Caroline Pond of Snake Oil Medicine Show), as well as Phish’s ‘Heavy Things‘.
Regardless of the genre he pursues, Moore plays with the class, style and skills of a man whose life is devoted to his craft. While his compositions may never lend themselves to mass commercial appeal or radio play, Drum & Bass Society proves Moore belongs in the elite echelon of today’s newest, and brightest, stars of the new age jazz world.
CleverJoe.com may 2004
CleverJoe’s indie band top picks
Drum & Bass Society – Joseph Patrick Moore
Although CleverJoe generally tries to select artists from the abundant good music within the thriving Canadian indie music scene, once in awhile a CD comes across his desk that really kicks his ass (which is somewhat strange because CleverJoe, one dimensional as he is, has no ass, nor for that matter a desk).
A few weeks ago, Joe was rolling along the 401, whistling a tune vaguely inspired by a song Bob Dylan once borrowed. The CD arrived a couple weeks earlier and busy as he is, Clever had not read the accompanying press release. So with no preconceptions, he reached over and popped in Joseph Patrick’s Moore’ Drum & Bass Society CD, pressed play and rolled the window down a crack.
There’s no looking back baby.
Mmmm… sweet, jazzy and intelligent, this is a great CD that goes on evolving each time it’s listened to. A mostly instrumental CD, featuring a healthy dose of uniquely arranged cover tunes backed by a solid live band with funkadelic bass, percussion, horns, woodwinds and strings.
With a peppering of electronica and soundscapes, Drum & Bass Society wanders through some unique covers of tunes by Phish, Tony Williams, Men at Work, The Specials and the Fixx. A few songs do feature a vocalist, most notably Temple Passmore on the opening track ‘Down Under‘.
Arranged by Joseph Patrick Moore, a 34 year old bassist from Knoxville, TN, Moore’s influences include Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, The Police and Charlie Parker. Traces of all can be heard throughout the extended jams and instrument solos on the hour long CD.
The music definitely grows on you in a laid back sort of way . CleverJoe recommends you do yourself a favour and high tail it to JPM’s web site and have a taste of some Drum & Bass Society yourself. Your day will be better for it.
CleverJoe Tip: This is road trip music at it’s best.
University of Idaho, May 2004
By Jon Hammond
Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore’s latest release, “Drum & Bass Society-Vol. 1,” experiments with many styles and instrumental groupings in a way that can only be described as eclectic. Each song displays a different mix of sounds and personnel, ranging from the violin, mandolin and flute to heavily sampled drum machine tracks and echoey voices.
The album’s jazz influence is easy to hear on tracks like “Groove Messenger (The Story of Jazztronica),” where Vance Thompson’s trumpet improvisations and Frank Amato’s work on the Fender Rhodes keyboard recall Miles Davis’ recordings of the late ’60s and early ’70s. But when Moore does jazz it is wholly original, preferring a sampled trip-hop beat to the traditional drum kit sound
Just as easily as the electric jazz element is established, other tracks stick to a more pop sound. While Moore’s arrangements of Men at Work’s “Down Under” or The Fixx’s “One Thing Leads to Another” aren’t the highlights of this CD, they do provide an interesting contrast to the album’s more ethereal wanderings.
Other songs covered by Moore and his band stay closer to the group’s “jam band” sound. Jazz drummer Tony Williams’ “Creatures of Conscience” allows drummer Jeff Sipe to stretch out and show his chops, while “Heavy Things,” written by the band Phish, mixes jazzlike improvisation with programmed, Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-esque vocals.
Moore’s technical ability on his instrument is solid, but he isn’t overly showy. In fact, on several tracks, including the album’s opener “Down Under,” he stays out of the way and lets the other instruments shine.
“Drum & Bass Society-Vol. 1” is quality recording with something a little different on each of its 15 tracks.
By Laura Turner Lynch
JOSEPH PATRICK MOORE – DRUM & BASS SOCIETY VOLUME 1: Drum & Bass Society is the fourth release from bassist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Joseph Patrick Moore (JPM). Joseph’s influences vary from jazz greats Miles Davis and Coltrain to modern rockers such as The Police. JPM has worked with many musicians and he has played on over forty recordings from other artists. Drum & Bass Society is a fifteen-track collection that includes seven originals, five innovative covers and three quick interludes. The CD is an eclectic mix ranging from jazz, rock, world and so much more. Many talented players contribute to this dynamic collection. ‘Ghost Town’ features haunting sounds and vocals with diverse instrumentation. Funky beats blend with the mandolin and pedal steel to create an evocative modern jazz song. ‘Groove Messenger’ is an up-tempo jazz number that features dynamic drumming including the congas and an udu drum. Joseph crafts smooth cool beats on an acoustic bass as a subtle mandolin melds with a trumpet, a tenor sax and a soprano saxophone. This song has a lot of flavor and first-rate musicianship. JPM’s interpretation of The Fixx‘s ‘One Thing Leads to Another‘ is acoustic based. The highlight of the song is the flute leads and other solos giving this rock hit a more improvisational direction. JPM has compiled an eclectic mix of exotic mostly instrumental songs that are masterful!
• Recommended Tracks: (2,3,6)
by Matt Shepherd
The Daily Cougar
Joseph Patrick Moore’s Drum & Bass Society’s Volume 1 is every bassist’s dream — Inviting all your eclectic musician friends over to cook up some funky, ethnic musical cuisine. JPMDBS uses more ingredients than putt-thai korat in its latest release on Blue Canoe Records. Talented and diverse musicians that are free to explore various themes in a loosely structured environment almost always yield interesting results.
From a marketing perspective, the downside to approaching a record this way is that the further one is removed from its actual performance, the less interesting the music becomes — a phenomenon that’s only amplified if the listener isn’t a musician. The onion-like layering of JPMDBS creates subtle nuances often detectable only to the musicians actually involved in the project, so don’t expect this album to break into the Top 40.
Interesting choices of material abound in Volume 1, beginning with the opening track, a cover of Men at Work’s “Down Under.” The rendition features the flute of David Freeman, the equally airy vocals of Temple Passmore and the calypso rhythms of drummer Ben Taylor and percussionists Count M’Butu and Larry Blewitt. The groove is light and breezy, but the chorus drops with the reggae earthiness of Tim Ussery’smandolin chucking.
Original composition “Groove Messenger” is a salsa-flavored nod to Miles Davis‘s Kind of Blue sessions. The samba beats provide a solid foundation for Freeman, and Vance Thompson’s modal horn jaunts into jazz age Harlem. Interesting programming and keyboard loops add a sophisticated electronic element that keeps it fresh.
The highlight of this record is the middle-eastern jam, “Cheesefrog Funk.” The frantic intro builds tension with a saxophone and a mandolin’s short bursts overlaid on the inevitable plodding of Moore himself on bass. Ziya Devletsah’s violin screams as if the electrified aeolian grains of a dust storm are bowing the strings. The violin and horns engage in a moaning dialogue over the top of an arid pocket set down by Emrah Kotan’s repetitive trash cymbals and syncopated beats along with Moore’s slap bass.
Moore showcases his bass skills on “Herbie,” a tribute to jazz/funk pioneer Herbie Hancock. He stays true to Trey Anastasio‘s playful bounce on Phish’s “Heavy Things,” which is the record’s best example of the drum ‘n’ bass with its half-time bass lines and fast jungle beats.
The talent of the musicians and their unique vision is refreshing, and the resulting music is multi-layered and wildly diverse. Volume 1 imports global elements into the realm of jazz and synthetically tweaks the mixture with electronic programming. This may please those who command a more sophisticated palette and bore those who prefer lolli-pop music.
The Verdict: Put on your headphones and pick it apart like an artichoke.
Creative Loafing April 2004
Creative Loafing-vibes-sit and spin
Charlotte, NC March 2004
Review by Samir Shukla
Creative Loafing Site (Charlotte, NC)
Joseph Patrick Moore has served as a member of Col. Bruce Hampton‘s Fiji Mariners and Blueground Undergrass. The bassist and multi-insrumentalist, currently based in Atlanta, produces solo records and also appears on a numerous projects as a sideman. Moore has a knack for bringing disparate musicians together into a collective that somehow manages to click. In VOLUME 1, the guest coax Moore’s seven original compositions into uptempo pop, contemporary jazz, and world fusion. There is also exotica in RAINDANCE, funk with CHEESEFROG FUNK, and groove-rock hints in HEAVY THINGS. Sure, there are tracks that would be home in a lounge somewhere, lurkin in obscurity, but most of the record works quite well. The engaging takes on several covers include The Fixx’s ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER, where George and Caroline Pond from Snake Oil Medicine Show add their own obtuse dimension. The Specials GHOST TOWN gets a jazzy treatment and covers of Phish, Men at Work and Tony Williams also get refurbished. Moore’s bass lines are supple, funky and don’t overwhelm the rest of the crew playing slide guitars, violin, horns, woodwinds and mandolin. His bass expecially shines in a dedication to Herbie Hancock simply entitled HERBIE.
Track to burn: GHOST TOWN
Artist: Joseph Patrick Moore
CD: Drum & Bass Society Volume 1
Quote: “Moore is a creative, mellow, almost trippy songwriter, weaving mysterious sounds and pure funk into this traditionally sophisticated genre.”
By Jennifer Layton
I’ve actually learned to enjoy the artsy, avant-garde feel of a group of jazz musicians getting together and letting the music flow, which is the vibe of this CD. I saw myself in a large art studio with paint-splattered hardwood floors and sheet music scattered on tables. The musicians just came in and started playing together, opening the windows to let the night air mix with the strings, woodwinds, and percussion.
Although Moore and Crew work in several covers, most of these songs are originals. Moore is a creative, mellow, almost trippy songwriter, weaving mysterious sounds and pure funk into this traditionally sophisticated genre. I enjoyed wandering around the swirling, incense-scented, groove-heavy funk of “Jamband Express” and the tribal, rhythmic echo of “Rain Dance.” Mental barriers melt. Time dissolves. I like hanging out with these artists and just listening to them celebrate sound.
The only problem I have is when they start doing covers. I liked two of the originals too much to see their rough edges softened into jazz/world music. Moore has turned Men At Work’s “Down Under” into a woodsy, new age, flowy sound, which doesn’t seem to match lyrics about odd characters and drunken barfing. And The Fixx’s original version of “One Thing Leads To Another” had a perfectly jagged guitar riff that matched Cy Curnin’s sharp, aggressive vocal. These two songs do not lend themselves to jazz.
Having said that, I just noticed in the liner notes that one of the musicians on the “Down Under” remake is playing a pizza box with brushes. I think Colin Hay would get a kick out of that.
Joseph Patrick Moore’s Drum and Bass Society
“Volume 1″ (Blue Canoe)
Compare to: Stanley Clarke, Fredalba
Review by — Dan Hopper
Joseph Patrick Moore has once again proven his versatility as a bass player, arranger and composer. Unfortunately, his music is all over the board stylistically, which may lower its appeal.
“Volume 1" is layered with diverse songs, all of which contain complex musical patterns. Moore and his backing musicians groove as hard as George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at times, and Moore’s skills on bass are definitely comparable to Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins.
The songs have a light-hearted enough tone to fit with any jazz listener’s taste, but the superb backbeats give most of the songs a Latin and funk feel.
There is even a hint of some Caribbean and Arabian influences found throughout. “Down Under”, the leadoff track, could not have received a better title. The music sounds like it could fit perfectly with a TV advertisement for a South Pacific Island‘s vacation getaway. The music features shakers, congas, Udu drums, a mandolin, a flute and even a pizza box scraped, tapped and swirled with jazz brushes. The choice of instruments is innovative, though slightly unconventional.
“Ghost Town” starts out with a few bone-chilling screams. The lyrics mention a ghost town, but the music brings images of deserts and sandstorms with a little enchantment placed upon them.
“Creatures of Conscience,” a Tony Williams composition, has the strongest groove and features an extremely syncopated jazz-funk drum pattern. Jeff Sipe‘s tom fills, high-hat work and borderline-genius drum solo in this song are admirable, considering his name is one not generally mentioned outside of jazz and funk musician circles. “Creatures Of Conscience” is a good song, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of Moore’s album. He is a bassist and the track obviously features the drums. The bass is barely noticeable.
This is without question a “musician’s album,” meaning the people who would buy it would most likely be musicians who are deeply versed in complicated musical styles or those with a deep love for groove-oriented music or appreciation in general.
Review by Smooth Zippy
Joseph Patrick Moore has done it again with another hit CD. GROOVE MESSENGER…a groove that gets your feet tapping and if you listen close a bit of Miles comes out in this track. This is one of my favorite tracks on the CD. CREATURES OF CONSCIENCE…A little of the old and a splash of the new. An upbeat sound that’s just plain cool. DOWN UNDER…Vocal Talent Temple Passmore gives this Men at Work hit a new smooth sound.
The CD is a mix of jazz, World, Pop, and a jazzy Rock Sound. A must have CD in your collection.
Joseph Patrick Moore — Drum & Bass Society Vol. 1
Starting things off with “Down Under” by Men at Work, Joseph Patrick Moore also retools work by The Fixx, The Specials (“Ghost Town”), Phish (“Heavy Things”), and Tony Williams (“Creatures of Conscience”), while offering seven originals. I really dig his funky cover of The Fixx’s “One Thing Leads to Another”, which makes you remember how much great music the ‘80’s and early ‘90s had to offer. His style is jazzy progressive rock with a nod to world and funk. His bass playing is masterful and bouncy with lively tones.
Reviewed by: J-Sin
Check out JPM in the March issue of Bassics Magazine (issue #32/Dave Pomeroy). One of Joseph’s songs from the “Alone Together” CD is featured on the CD sampler that is included with every issue, as well as commentary from Joseph about the recording of this tune/album
Relix – October 2002
Vol. 29. Number 5
Review by Art Howard
Prior to the era of grunge it was popular for musicians to possess musicianship. The jamband scene has come to the rescue for those of us who still prefer players who know how to play, and one of the better bass players in the jamband world is former BlueGround UnderGrass bassist Joseph Patrick Moore. His new solo LP, ALONE TOGETHER, consists of only one instrument, the bass (electric and stand-up), multi-tracked and played in a variety of octaves to create a bass symphony. On the stylistic side, what sets Moore apart from most bass virtuosos is that he actually plays bass parts on the bass rather than guitar parts. Further distancing him from the instrumentalist flock is that ALONE TOGETHER demonstrates he is facile and versatile without turning into a circus sideshow. The tunes are low-key and understated, and he touches on an interesting variety of styles, mainly jazz, ambient and funk.
An Honest Tune August 2002
Vol. 4, number 1
Review by Tom Speed
Though best known for his turns as the bass player for Fiji Mariners and BlueGround UnderGrass, Joseph Patrick Moore presents here on his third solo release nothing but his bass-fifteen tracks that touch on jazz, rock, and classical music. Most of the tracks were written by Moore but he also includes some interesting cover selections such as the Police’s MASOKO TANGA. Alone Together features Moore on upright acoustic and electric basses with overdubs and samples and whatever else it takes to make it work. Listening to this record, one gets the feeling of being invited into Moore’s living room for a long musical conversation that lasts well into the night.
It’s a must for bass players but is also an excellent record that captures an amazing performer and his craft.
Double Bassist – August 2002
Review by Malcolm Creese
Double Bassist Website
This is an extraordinary album of bass-only music by a highly talented and versatile American player. Joseph Patrick Moore visits classical, jazz and pop genres in this showcase collection, most of the 15 short titles are his, and he employs a myriad of studio devices to achieve a surprisingly complete sound. There are delays, loops, harmonics, echoes, multi-tracking and synthesizer effects. Moore is a fine player on double bass, bass guitar with and without frets and even the occasional vocal. The bottom end is obviously well catered for, but he higher registers are also there in abundance, and with accuracy and clarity. Heaven knows how many strings the various bass guitars have (lots!), but the music never sounds muddy or bottom-heavy. Moore’s fretless playing is reminiscent of the great Jaco Pastorius‘ impact on the fretless bass was so overwhemling that it is difficult not to sound like him on this instrument. Moore dedicates a track to some others who influenced him – including Dave Holland and Ron Carter – and his choice of a song by Sting gives another clue as to his list of mentors. As an extra bonus the funky Bobby McFerrin track Drive is included on the CD in video format, where the youthful Moore gives a solo bass guitar performance in what looks like his living room.
CD Title: Alone Together
Record Label: Root Cellar Record
Style: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
Review By: Wendy E. Ross
Review: Joseph Patrick Moore’s third solo CD, Alone Together, is an intriguing mixture of Jazz, Funk, Classical and Soul. It draws you in slowly, enchanting you with varieties of mood and space. Moore creates and populates whole landscapes with impressionistic sound. He is probably best known for his stints as a member of BlueGround UnderGrass and Col. Bruce Hampton & The Fiji Mariners.
The title cut convincingly holds it’s anchor spot, despite being the next to the last cut on the CD. Alone Together is vibratingly slow and beautiful. It’s as if Moore were blindly brailling, his bass. Moore claims this cut as his interpretation of the Dietz/Schwartz jazz standard. The thought of being ‘alone together’ with his instrument served as the inspiration for this title and for the whole album. The cut begins with western flavor, the music heavy with foreboding. It’s like the main street of a deserted gold rush town, after the mine has shutdown. In the distance storm clouds gather and the few residents left, hide indoors as if expecting the storm to blow in an outlaw along with the rain. The notes fall like leftover raindrops down a windowpane or like a single tear, sliding down a hot dusty cheek.
Cuts one and four, Waterfall and Fall, balance each other in equal and opposing measure. Waterfall has a classical, almost baroque sound, ponderous, but at the same time soaring with lighter pizzicato notes. Moore’s liner quotes speak of a waterfall being forceful yet mysterious, and that if you look closely, you can see a rainbow through the mist. Fall according to Moore, is about his favorite season of morphing color, rededication, and renewal. The bass holds full- throated, falling notes, evoking the warm, rich colors with a lush, multi-layered sound. He draws the notes out as if wanting to linger over them and not let them go.
On the cuts, Landscape, Prayer of Solitude, Masoko Tanga the bass has an Asian sound; one can almost hear a Koto and sometimes even a gong. The beginning of Landscape is other- worldly, bringing to mind a lunar terrain. Moore’s inspiration for the song was a desolate swamp, but in the distance he could see the most glorious sunset.
Cut five and six, Sooner Or Later and Bobby McFerrin‘s Drive are fun and funky. There’s a heavy beat, but also a whimsical humor. It’s a journey with various adventures along the way passing pastures with cows, one minute and ending up in a biker pub the next.
Qui-Es Tu Marie-Jeanne is a gorgeous sonorous tune, with classical leanings. The pensive searching chorus evokes the impression of nymphet in chiffon floral dress running barefoot through the winter bare gardens of a historic mansion searching for what was once there, but is now gone.
Significant musicians and events inspired several cuts on the CD. Bebop Charlie, a bold rooster strut of a tune is dedicated to Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker, and reminiscent of his style, Pause # 4, dedicated to Ron Carter, Dave Holland, Victor Wooten, and Bill Frisell gallops, with enough ‘airs above the ground’ to make a Lippizaner Stallion look like Pegasus. The track Numb, was a reaction to September 11th. The opening crashes in like the dissonant buzz of a TV channel with bad reception. White noise? It certainly is numbing.
The final cut Offering, speaks of the unique gift each person has to give the world. New age dissonant, with whispered ghost like poet-speak vocals, it’s hauntingly repetitive and querulous.
I’d definitely recommend Moore’s latest CD. This is not background music but an adventure that leads one on a journey of introspection. It’s disturbing, in that instead of sending you to sleep, it would be more likely to stir your creative juices. Take a listen and see if you have the courage to be ‘Alone Together’.
A real bass solo record featuring nothing but Moore and his multi-tracked basses. JPM employs a huge range of tones and techniques, and with chops and songwriting as varied as his, this isn’t just another CD of look at me skills.