The Commercial Appeal, September 28th, 1996
Review by Bill Ellis
The Commercial Appeal
Never Never Land
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.