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Richard Moore: Now What Now

Mark Corroto By

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“File under spoken word,” doesn’t quite describe the terrain we are traversing on Richard Moore’s Now What Now. The singer/songwriter teams up with percussionist Dave Storrs (The Tone Sharks, Boundary Issues, Rob Blakeslee, Rich Halley) and bassist Page Hundemer (The Tone Sharks, Whirled Jazz) for three days of philosophically based improvised music.

Richard Moore is to Ken Nordine’s ‘word jazz’ as Howard Hughes was to lost highway drifters. His weltanschauung is that of a post 9-11 American Buddhist. Not the ’don’t step on the ant’ Buddhist kind, but the rental car with no A/C type. He asks, “What if your shit isn’t the most important thing in the world?” in his circular argument to challenge the listener to look beyond the daily soap opera we each inhabit. Yes, this is a post-beat, post-hippie, maybe even post-postmodern (is that possible) excursion into our existence.

Moore’s poetry fits nicely with percussionist Dave Storrs brand of music making. His solo percussion records and group improvisation all found on Louie Records present a fresh take on sound design. Where Ken Nordine’s ‘word jazz’ was all about studio manipulation, this record has no overdubs. The musicians lay down sounds and effects to underscore the poetry. Like a soundtrack for an alien detective movie Storrs and Hundemer keep the mood heavy, real heavy man.

Richard Moore’s life lessons flow from a trip through the insides of a computer to questioning a scientist’s manipulation of our DNA. From telling us the “Confusion might be your best friend” to warning listeners that we don’t really want to know what out purpose in life is, he leave us with more questions than answers.

Not exactly ‘spoke word,’ but then again where does one file their Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits, Allen Ginsberg, and Kenneth Patchen discs?


Title: Now What Now | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Louie Records


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