135

Ralph Moore: The Complete Landmark Recordings

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
A musician who has been sadly absent from the current jazz scene, tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore took part in the '80s revival of hard bop while fashioning one of the most recognizable sounds around. After he made his debut recording for the Reservoir label, Moore would go on to record a pair of albums each for Criss Cross Jazz and Landmark. Then following one more effort for Savoy Jazz, Moore would fall silent for a lengthy spell that has yet to see his return to recording activity.

The albums Images and Furthermore, done for Orrin Keepnews on Landmark , have been tied up in limbo since the demise of the small label. Now, 32 Jazz has re-packaged both releases on a 2-CD set that fittingly restores the best of Moore's work from the '80s and early '90s. Images was cut in 1988 and features a cast of youngsters that would go on to establish their own creative identities, including trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianist Benny Green and rhythm mates Peter and Kenny Washington. The program is wisely chosen, with such hip Blue Note classics as Hank Mobley's "This I Dig of You" and Joe Henderson's "Punjab" indicative of Moore's tastes and influences. The extraordinary modern composer Donald Brown is also represented with a smoldering version of his "Episode From a Village Dance." Moore's own way with a tune is evident with "Freeway," the prickly opening gambit that puts everyone in a good mood.

Cut two years later and putting Ray Hargrove in the trumpeter's seat, along with the substitution of drummer Victor Lewis on a few cuts, Furthermore picks up where Images left off with additional top-notch work on a program that is comprised of more original material than on the previous outing. Opening once again with a bang, Moore's "Hopscotch" is one of those singable lines that stay with you long after the last notes have faded. Benny Green's "Phoebe's Samba" is another choice tune, with a propulsive Latin groove that drummer Lewis capitalizes on most proficiently during his extended solo. And for sheer beauty, Hargrove's "Into Dawn" is one of the trumpeter's most memorable compositions, with a melody and structure worthy of becoming a modern-day standard.

It should go without saying that all the participants involved here have something important to say, yet a closer look at Moore is required. While clearly inspired by John Coltrane, Moore possesses a round and burnished sound that sets him apart from his contemporaries. In addition, his improvisations have a patient and logical development that make them instantly attractive and understandable by even the most novice of listeners. It is all these qualities that make his recent scarceness all the more frustrating. Hopefully, the reissue of these significant early landmarks (pun intended) will bring him a new audience and a renewed career.

Personnel: ImagesRalph Moore- tenor, Terence Blanchard- trumpet (tracks 1,3,5,7), Benny Green- piano, Peter Washington- bass, Kenny Washington- drums, Victor See-Yuen- congas (track 3 only)

FurthermoreRalph Moore- tenor, Roy Hargrove- trumpet (tracks 1,3,4,6), Benny Green- piano, Peter Washington- bass, Kenny Washington- drums (tracks 1,3,5), Victor Lewis- drums (tracks 2,4,6,7)

Track ListingImagesFreeway, Enigma, Episode From a Village Dance, Morning Star, This I Dig of You, Blues For John, Punjab, One Second, Please (52:49)

FurthermoreHopscotch, Monk's Dream, 310 Blues, Phoebe's Samba, Girl Talk, Into Dawn, Line D (49:09)

| Record Label: 32 Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Roy Hargrove Roy Hargrove
trumpet
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Dexter Gordon Dexter Gordon
sax, tenor
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor
Jaleel Shaw Jaleel Shaw
sax, alto
Houston Person Houston Person
sax, tenor
Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan
sax, baritone
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Donny McCaslin Donny McCaslin
saxophone

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics" CD/LP/Track Review Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
by Paul Naser
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Close Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Close Enough
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Conversations About Not Eating Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Conversations About Not Eating Meat
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Touch My Beloved's Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Touch My Beloved's Thought
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!