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Quartet by Joel Moore

On the self produced CD Quartet, Chicago based tenor saxophonist Joel Moore has assembled a virtuoso ensemble to perform six original tunes, either penned by himself or in collaboration with pianist Jakub Rojek. The recording is an example of driving straight-ahead jazz that showcases not only Moore’s talent as a composer and arranger, but also talented musicians working together like a well-oiled machine, in creating some exciting modern jazz.

The opening cut "Fireside," brings to this listener’s ear a sound similar to recordings made in the 1970’s (Stan Getz’s Captain Marvel album comes to mind) perhaps due to Rojek’s use of a Fender Rhodes sound for his keyboard. Moore’s saxophone sound, however, is nothing like Getz’s. He plays with a John Coltrane inspired sound that is throaty and aggressive. Moore’s further homage to Coltrane may be heard on the final cut on the CD, "Chasing the Trane" which is Coltrane’s "Giant Steps" with a new head penned by Moore. While Moore is not John Coltrane, he none-the-less possesses monster jazz chops and tosses to the listener, many innovative ideas while improvising over the challenging chord changes of the tune.

The pieces, "Longing" and "November" showcase Moore’s melodicism; a tasteful vibrato and expressive musicianship. The third cut on the CD, "Hat Trick" begins with a funky groove with a head that is filled with angular twists and turns. When Moore’s solo begins, however, the combo shifts into a hard swinging groove that provides a perfect foundation for soloing. The work of the other members of the quartet, Paul Townsend on drums and Bob Ferraris on bass, also deserve mention as they play their supportive role and solo with exquisite timing and tastefulness.

For jazz aficionados who enjoy well played, excellently recorded, creatively nuanced and performed music, Quartet by the Joel Moore Quartet will certainly be a welcome addition to any jazz CD collection.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joel Moore
  • CD Title: Quartet
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Independently Produced
  • Tracks: Fireside, Hindsight, Hat Trick, Longing, November, Catchin the Trane'
  • Musicians: Joel Moore (tenor saxophone), Jakub Rojek (keyboard), Bob Ferraris (double bass), Paul Townsend (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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