Jazz CD Reviews

Stanton Moore – Groove Alchemy – Telarc Records

Drummer brings sophistication and precision to perpetuate the funk sound.

Published on May 8, 2010

Stanton Moore – Groove Alchemy – Telarc Records

Stanton Moore – Groove Alchemy – Telarc Records TEL-31890-02, 54:12 ***½:

(Stanton Moore, drums; Robert Walter, Hammond B3 Organ; Will Bernard, guitar)

Stanton Moore serves up a swinging, funky sound that permeates the new CD, Groove Alchemy.  Inspired by his New Orleans roots in the music of Professor Longhair,  The Meters and Dr. John,  the trio tears through a variety of concise and vibrant tracks.

From the downbeat drum intro of the first number, Squash Blossom, the listener is taken for a rhythmic journey that acts as a reminder that music can be entertaining and fun. The interplay of the B3 and electric guitar provide a consistent, melodic landscape, fueled by Moore’s superb drumming. Whether the band is hammering the syncopated feel of Pie-Eyed Manic, or the uptempo, jazzy nuance of Knocker, the tremendous precision manages to elevate the sound beyond the narrowness of genre.

Not relying entirely on funk grooves, there are  blues numbers, Root Cellar ( a swinging fusion piece replete with a rare extended guitar solo ), and Up To Here, with a straight ahead organ lead.  Of course there is a traditional Dixieland arrangement, Keep On Gwine, which features Robert Waller on the piano. Upbeat rockers like Pot Licker and Cleanse This House are energetic and create a harder edge.  The group finishes with two slower undistinguished tunes: Aletta,  the George Jones ode to romantic melancholy, and He Stopped Loving Her Today.
The concise arrangements emphasize the symmetry and harmonics of the players.  Instead of elongated solos, each musician is able to interpret the melody lines in a seamless interplay with each other.  Clocking in at a mere 54 minutes, the 12 tracks have a lively pace. (Note: There is a companion instructional DVD for drums)

TrackList: Squash Blossom; Pie-Eyed Manic; Pot Licker; Root Cellar; Keep On Gwine; Neeps and Tatties; Up To Here; Knocker; Shiftless; Cleanse This House; Aletta; He Stopped Loving Her Today.

— Robbie Gerson  

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