[17 April 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Stanton Moore’s press bio may depict him as a funk drummer and his stints in Galactic and Garage a Trois may mirror that depiction, but I’ve always considered Moore to be a jazz drummer first. This is not to say I prefer jazz over funk. It’s just to say that funky jazz is still jazz. And look at the company he’s kept over the years! Trombone Shorty, Skerik, Charlie Hunter, Bobby Previte…I could go on like this.
So Moore’s announcement that he’s returning to his jazz roots with the acoustic Conversations is just a little moot. Despite taking lessons with Kenny Washington, he still sounds like himself (who else would he sound like?) and this trio of Moore, David Torkanowsky, and James Singleton still carry the New Orleans funk flame. High points include Singleton’s soaring opener “Laura Z”, the somber “Waltz for All Souls” by the Big Easy’s Evan Christopher and Moore’s original “Tchefunkta”. Transplanted from Moore’s first album in 1998, it’s got the skin-tight brushwork of someone who knows what they want.