Jan 12 2015
It’s a nice surprise to see Stanton Moore put out a straight-ahead jazz recording. Though best known for being a founding member of jam and funk groups Galactic & Garage A Trois, the drummer has done a fair bit of traveling to other genres. It makes sense that the Metairie native would eventually choose a project that swings and bops and makes a home in New Orleans blues. It’s a logical decision, really. Conversations is going to leave many listeners wishing that he’s made the decision far sooner.
Opening track “Lauren Z” is the immediate evidence that Moore knows how to emphasize the drums, both with solos and fills, without it being so showy as to put everything else in the background. Loud voices in a room full of dialog are only bad when they distract the attention from everything but their presence. Moore is able to develop a chatter that blends right in with the stream of things.
Second track “Carnival” is no less chipper or lively than the album opener, but it rides the melody rather than utilizing it for fuel, and that’s why it moves with an appealing ease that contrasts nicely with the strong propulsion of the album opener.
Their rendition of Herbie Hancock’s “Driftin'” is presented as a classic blues reminiscent of piano trio recordings from Red Garland’s Prestige/Riverside days. Nice and easy and full of feeling… a display of how the blues can be an expression of joy no matter how troubled the times. “In the Keyhole” is no different, though its motion and touch of funk is more reminiscent of a Horace Silver hard bop tune.
“Waltz for All Souls” is the rare moment where Moore’s trio slows things down and breathes with patience. The soulfulness of the tune snaps right into place with the rest of the album, and the decreased rate of speed falls right into the flow of the album.
But the heart of the album beats in swing time, and the sunny warmth and joyful effusiveness of tracks like “Magnolia Triangle” and “Paul Barbarin’s Second Line” are what this terrific album is all about.
Your album personnel: Stanton Moore (drums), David Torkanowsky (piano) and James Singleton (bass).
Released on Royal Potato Family.
Jazz from the New Orleans scene.
Or purchase directly from the artist.