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Groove Alchemy (Telarc)
By Martin Z. Kasdan, Jr.
Stanton Moore's new CD is a 12-track lesson in the variations on funk and syncopation. Released in conjunction with an instructional DVD and Book (not available for review), Groove Alchemy finds Moore (of Galactic) with long-time bandmates Will Bernard on guitar and Robert Walter on B3 and piano.
Most of the songs are from the trio. The opening "Squash Blossom" is blistering funk with a rock edge. "Pie Eyed Manc" emphasizes the second line, while "Pot Licker" evokes the JBs. Melvin Lastie's "Keep on Gwine" is a change of pace, with old-fashioned bluesy, almost ragtime piano work by Walter. "Up to Here" is a bluesy shuffle, "Cleanse this House" is probably named for the fact that this is one stanky number, and the disc closes with the funk-meets-C&W take on George Jones' country classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today."
Having heard Moore in New Orleans many times over the past decade, including with Bernard and Walter, this CD nonetheless takes me back to the 2007 Louisiana Music Factory in-store by Moore, a solo performance and workshop which remains a "Jazzfest moment" for me.
Find out more at stantonmoore.com.