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Stanton Moore: With You In Mind

Doug Collette By

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The title of Stanton Moore's homage to Allen Toussaint suggests the affection at the heart of this project. With You In Mind symbolizes the achievements of the latter NOLA icon as ongoing inspiration for generations of musicians to come and not just those with their roots in New Orleans like this great drummer and bandleader with top billing here.

Beginning with the celebratory called "Here Come The Girls," Moore's quasi-martial beat underscores the rhythm inherent in Cyril Neville's lead vocal, the background voices of Jolynda Kiki Chapman and Erica Falls, not to mention Trombone Shorty's solos. The festivities continue with "Life," where it doesn't take long to hear Nicholas Payton's own trumpet solo.

Mike Dillon institutes percolating percussion that nevertheless allows for an ebb and flow to the track redolent of the dynamics of this entire album, another illustration of which immediately follows in the appropriately perky "Java;" one of the three pure instrumentals here, it is permeated with the alternately earthy and spiritual ambiance of the Crescent City, thanks in no small part to the firm underpinning of Moore and his trio mates, bassist James Singleton and keyboardist David Torkanowsky.

Even in a breakdown, the likes of which occurs there, this threesome makes its presence felt in no uncertain terms and that's also the case on straight balladry such as "All These Things" featuring Chapman as the sultry lead voice. The woman can wail, but sing delicately too, and her restrained approach maintains the continuity of With You In Mind, even without calling attention to herself or her skills. In fact, the same might be said of all those participating on this project, such as those that populate "Night People," most prominently, saxophonists Maceo Parker and Skerik.

In the slow swirl of notes akin to the movement of a smoke ring, the sounds of Payton and Harrison's instruments on "Riverboat" speak volumes, not just about the history of this great American city, but the creative soul of Allen Toussaint that's inextricably tied to that story. In the wake of the perpetual motion leading up to and through "The Beat;" this quiet track is a pause to reflect on those truths and, in so doing, realize how these ten songs merely scratch the surface of their composer's genius.

Stanton Moore has performed yeoman's work here, not only in organizing (and co-producing with Torkanowsky) the sessions for With You In Mind, but his most crucial role may have been as catalyst for the other musicians who contributed. Even at its most gentle, as on the title song duet between Singleton and Torkanowsky, the playing has a penetrating force that echoes not just the voice of the man who wrote these tunes, but the man whose name adorns this album.

Track Listing: Here Comes The Girls; Life; Java; All These Things; Night People; The Beat; Riverboat; Everything I Do Gone Be Funky; With You In Mind; Southern Nights.

Personnel: Personnel Stanton Moore drums; David Torkanowsky: piano; James Singleton bass; Jolynda Kiki Chapman: lead and background vocals; Cyril Neville: lead vocals, tambourine; Nicholas Payton: trumpet, Hammond B3; Eric Bloom: trumpet; Trombone Shorty: trombone: Mark Mullins: trombone; Donald Harrison: alto sax; Maceo Parker: alto sax; Aarin Fletcher: alto sax; Skerik: baritone sax; Mike Dillon: percussion: Erica Falls: background vocals; Wendell Pierce: spoken word.

Title: With You In Mind | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Cool Green Recordings

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