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Spaces In Time by Bill Moring

Sought out for his skill for more than 20 years on the New York scene, bassist Bill Moring has definitely paid his dues. Playing with the Hank Roberts group during university years back in Indiana, Bill moved his musical circle through the Indianapolis and Cincinnati area. Early influences Moring played with include Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton and Cal Collins before moving to New York in 1984 where he began working with drummer Mel Lewis. He joined Woody Herman's Thundering Herd in 1985 and received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to study with Rufus Reid in 1986. Bill toured around the world for a year with the Count Bassie Orchestra, gracing such places as the Hollywood Bowl, the North Sea, Umbria, Grande Parade Du Jazz and Pori jazz festivals.

A few of the other artists Moring performed with are: the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Jazz Orchestra. Among singers he has performed with: Mel Torme`, Diane Schuur, Dakota Staton, Maxine Sullivan, and Joe Williams. He has also performed with legends, Clark Terry, Mickey Roker, Junior Cook, Mel Lewis and Ray Barretto and a virtual who's who of other contemporary artists including Vic Juris, Dave Kikoski, Billy Hart, John Hart, Eddie Henderson, Mulgrew Miller, Dave Stryker.....and many more.

With all his experience and expertise, it would be expected Bill Moring's music might grab the listener and hold them in delightful sound--And, that's exactly what he does, along with his band, Way Out East.

Giving great energy right from the mysterious opening of Spaces In Time, pianist Steve Allee stretches, bounces and strolls the keys for "Sweat" as trumpeter Jack Walrath blows a hot trumpet section, keeping this tune slammin'. A nice front spot for drummer Steve Johns 'pops' with flavor.

Considering his band a " cooperative compositionally," Moring hopes Spaces In Time reflects the diversity of the entire album. Moring reached his goal--as this album provides a bit of Middle Eastern and Latin touches with "Hop Blues," written by Tim Armacost. "Hop Blues" swings, as saxman Armacost floats lithley up and down the keys. Moring lights up as he takes front spot with his funky bass.

Horn laden, "Balls of Everything" another Walrath composition, keeps the sound sweet yet fiercely in the groove before the band turns to Steve John's composition, "Deep Blue," inviting the listener to a sensuous late night stroll through neon lights and dark shadows. Moring's bass keeps the tension even as Johns slowly brushes out the rhythem. Trumpet muted, Walrath makes this tune even more sensual as he slowly flows the notes over the other instruments.

What could be more passionate than a love affair lasting 24 years? Moring's tribute to his wife, Marry Lynn and their life together, now including two kids and a dog, is a spectacular statement of love. Tim Armacost smoothly scales his saxophone, taking the listener deeper into the rhapsody of love while Walrath gently teases the senses. In fact, all senses are engaged for this song. The depth of Moring's bass matches the depth of his love for "Marry Lynn."

A strange opening featuring Walrath's trumpet, one note at a time, escalating into a run and finally into a cascade of slithering tones on "Snakes" when joined by Allee's suspenseful keyboard moves and a frollicing sax. In typical Ornette Coleman style, this tight group performs "The Disguise" as if they have been playing it all their lives. As Coleman liked it--all the way 'live' with each instrument featured at just the right moment. Moring's bass is on fire when joined by team-mates for a rollicking good time.

Title track "A Space In Time," written by Moring, shows the precision of his skillful bass, while Allee provides perfect accompaniment for this waltz. Though smooth, this is not dull. Each member of the group fits perfectly for a cohesive collaboration. Swinging out on trupet, Walrath keeps the spirit above the sublime.

Getting back to the funk for the close, Moring's "iHop" brings the band into an interplay that defies turning away. So much movement, swing, sway and stomp....Don't blink......

Moring advocates music education and has held clinics at high school & college festivals in the U.S. and abroad.

With such a major cast of all-stars, Way Out East delivers on every level, keeping the listener engaged, held in suspence--awaiting the next note.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bill Moring
  • CD Title: Spaces In Time
  • Genre: Cool Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Owl Studios
  • Tracks: Sweat, Balls of Everything, Deep Blue, Mary Lynn, Hop Blues, Snakes!, The Disguise, A Space In Time, iHop
  • Musicians: Bill Moring: Bass, Jack Walrath: Trumpet, Tim Armacost: Saxophone, Steve Allee: Keyboard, Steve Johns: Drums
  • Rating: Five Stars
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