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Independent Memphis Music Magazine – Winter 1996/1997 December 30, 1996

Independent Memphis Music Magazine, Winter 96/97
vol.1/number 3
Review by Scott Bojko

Never Never Land

Never Never Land

 

Having seen bassist Joey Moore perform with local jazz saxophonist Carl Wolfe, as well as with a spare trio, I was curious about why he risked sounding pretentious by affecting Joseph Patrick Moore for his album, NNL. The music explains: Joey Moore is the competent young sideman, Joseph Patrick Moore is the mature jazz artist, composer, and leader-no pretense. Moore’s Jazz is contemporary, with flavorings from cool to eclectic funk to nature sounds. But let labels neither attract nor deter – just listen to the soundscapes that Moore creates. Eavesdrop on a conversation as trumpet, sax, clarinet, piano, and B3 organ trade licks on SEX IN SPACE. Let BRAVE UP ride you in an agile sports car, with responsive shifts, straight-and-turns, ups-and-downs. Experience a mist, mystical rainforest in the title track. Ponder life while strolling cosmopolitan parks and streets in some CORNER OF THE WORLD. Or heck, just mellow out on the music.

Moore produced, and composed or arranged, the entire album. In addition to the bass gamut, he performs on a slew of instruments. MOMENT TO MOMENT credits Moore on everything: 5string electric and distorted fretless bass, intro voice, drum design and fills, piano, triangles, bells, shakers, strings, harp, horns. Busy guy. Beyond conventional winds, keys and drums, Moore uses all sorts of auxiliary percussion, electronics, and effects, to add intriguint accents or to weave textures under and around melodies. He gets help from two dozen featured players, including Wolfe, Harmonica cat Pete Peterson, and Posey Hedges, who co-produced. This album includes two brief dedications to jazz icons which seem to say, thanks for your inspiration, hope you like how I’ve made it my own thing. the first PAUSE honors Miles Davis, whowould scowl appreciatively at Moore’s fusion of turntable scratching with cool muted trumpet and funky bass, ending with a racing tempo transition, the kind Miles could propel telepathically in his 60’s quintet. In PAUSE 2 for Jaco Pastorius, the solo Moore invokes the late bassist’s blurry, fretless slurs, harmonics, and chording. Another homage is Moore’s slick, all-bass rendition of Coltrane’s GIANT STEPS, employing upright, distorted fretless and 5 string electric.

NNL is an impressive achievement. Listen. Appreciate how the jazz mosaic transforms as dynamic sound images, or just funks around. You get the feeling tthat Moore has lots of experimental and improvisational inventions percolating. Under any moniker, let’s hear more Moore.

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The Commercial Appeal – September 28th, 1996 September 28, 1996

The Commercial Appeal, September 28th, 1996
Review by Bill Ellis
Memphis, TN
The Commercial Appeal

Never Never Land

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.

 

 
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