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Talkbass – November 2000 November 13, 2000

Talkbass, November 2000
Review by June Rhee
www.talkbass.com

Soul Cloud

Soul Cloud

The first image that came to mind when I listened to SoulCloud, which features bassist Joseph Patrick Moore’s original compositions, was a swank nightclub patroned by hipsters cloaked in black leather at some unidentified New York venue. Tipping its hat to 1970s funk, this CD contains talented musicians and tight ensemble work, both of which are further strengthened by a quality recording. Solo highlights include trumpeter Vance Thompson on track 4, pianist Bill Anschell on track 2, and drummer Phillip Smith on track 5, not to mention Moore’s own bass prowess, which he shows off on an intense bass solo that evokes memoirs of Seinfeldesque city streets entitled BIG BUTT BASS. The name yells it all.

This is a strong CD, much to Moore’s credit. However, while swank isn’t necessarily a bad image, nearly 9 tracks of it does lend itself to leaving the listener rather musically parched. The instrumentation on 6 of the 9 tracks – bass, guitar, brass, drums, keyboards has little variation, and the structure of the pieces felt rather convoluted at times until the solos kicked in. The ensemble in general lacked a certain spark, incited when the members click perfectly together on a personal and musical level.  Rather, I heard several talented musicians playing different instruments at the same time. Perhaps on the next CD Moore can experiment with his setup through utilizing a smaller group of musicians or varying the instrumentation on more tracks.

Moore’s arrangement of GOING TO CALIFORNIA was beautiful, providing a welcome respite from the dark, underground atmosphere of the earlier tracks. Most worthy of note was his jazzed-up arrangement of DUST IN THE WIND, to be avoided by any of you Kansas purists out there. I, on the other hand, highly enjoyed the brisk, sunny-side-up mood.

These shortcomings did little to detract from my coffee and Nutella morning ritual, however. I indeed look forward to and hope to hear more of this bassist’s creations.

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