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Ralph Moore: The Complete Landmark Recordings

Jim Santella By

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His exposure with Jay Leno’s Tonight Show band has brought tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore right into our living rooms and bedrooms. By reissuing two Landmark albums from 1988 and 1990 in one double CD package, 32 Jazz has reintroduced valuable straight-ahead quartet and quintet material that caught several young lions near the beginning of their careers: trumpeter Roy Hargrove, pianist Benny Green, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Assisting Green in the rhythm section are stalwarts Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Moore, who back then was just past 30, developed his mainstream chops through the Berklee College of Music in Boston and apprenticeships with Horace Silver, J.J. Johnson and others. His velvety smooth tone makes Moore readily accessible to the average listener and opens ears for the lively improvisation he espouses.

Blanchard joins Moore’s quartet for half the selections on Images. Ten years ago, when the trumpeter had a brighter brassier tone and heaved his horn up high more often, Blanchard’s style was quite different from the romantic ballads he’s turned out in recent years. Together on this 1988 session, he and Moore carry on the tenor/trumpet tradition with professional spirit. A program selection that includes one lush ballad, one fiery Latin jazz episode, and the remainder up-tempo straight-ahead sparks, forces the listener to get caught up in the rhythm. There’s just no way to keep still, as Moore pushes the quartet through pieces such as his "Blues for John" and Elmo Hope’s "One Second, Please."

Furthermore enlists the services of Roy Hargrove for half its selections. Splitting the program between loping ballads and up-tempo rockers, Moore inspires his bandmates. Benny Green wrote "Phoebe’s Samba," a Latin affair that includes Victor Lewis’s dramatic drum interlude. Hargrove’s moderate waltz "Into Dawn" contains lyrical melodies for piano and horns alike. Neal Hefti’s "Girl Talk" and Moore’s "310 Blues" walk the bass and ride the cymbal, while horns provide tight octaves. Each artist takes a relaxed bluesman solo filled with down home expression that tells the story of Ralph Moore’s career as well as any other.

Track Listingfor Images : Freeway; Enigma; Episode from a Village Dance; Morning Star; This I Dig of You; Blues for John; Punjab; One Second, Please.

Collective Personnelfor Images : Ralph Moore- tenor saxophone; Benny Green- piano; Peter Washington- bass; Kenny Washington- drums; Terence Blanchard- trumpet; Victor See-Yuen- congas on "Episode from a Village Dance."

Track Listingfor Furthermore : Hopscotch; Monk’s Dream; 310 Blues; Phoebe’s Samba; Girl Talk; Into Dawn; Line D.

Collective Personnelfor Furthermore : Ralph Moore- tenor saxophone; Benny Green- piano; Peter Washington- bass; Kenny Washington, Victor Lewis- drums; Roy Hargrove- trumpet.

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


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