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Stanton Moore – With You In Mind (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Stanton Moore – With You In Mind (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 52:56 minutes | 591 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Cool Green Recordings

In the fall of 2015, drummer Stanton Moore, along with pianist David Torkanowsky and bassist James Singleton, had booked studio time to record a follow-up to the trio’s 2014 release, “Conversations”. The plan was for it to contain primarily original compositions. On November 10, 2015, they and the rest of the world heard the shockingly sad news of the death of the legendary pianist, composer, producer and arranger Allen Toussaint. The result is With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint, which has been released on July 21, 2017. The album, which was co-produced by Moore and Torkanowsky, finds the three artists, who have been performing and touring together for several years, at the core of the music. It’s easy to imagine that, considering the project’s theme and with these highly respected musicians putting it together, it wasn’t difficult to recruit guests for the project. Some of New Orleans’ finest artists play significant roles throughout the disc.

Galactic drummer Stanton Moore is a busy man. Besides working with NOLA’s funky sons, he teaches, does a copious amount of TV and film work, and works on solo projects. One of the latter is his acclaimed trio with organist David Torkanowsky and bassist James Singleton. The three had booked studio time in the fall of 2015 to cut a follow-up to the previous year’s celebrated Conversations. That was put on hold when Crescent City icon Allen Toussaint died suddenly after a concert in Spain. Moore’s trio didn’t feel right proceeding on their own without acknowledging the artist’s passing. Moore had done studio work with Toussaint, and the shadow of his influence on the trio looms large. Instead of cutting an original record, the three assembled a host of NOLA luminaries for this masterful presentation of Toussaint’s multi-faceted compositions. Vocalist Cyril Neville fronts the band on half the set’s tunes, including the raucous “Here Come the Girls” (with a burning solo by Trombone Shorty). Neville’s also there on the syncopated, second-line funk of “Life,” whose horn section boasts solos by trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonist Skerik, as well as a killer backing chorus comprised of Erica Falls and Jolynda Chapman. The latter of these two fronts the trio on the soulful ballad “All These Things.” There are excellent instrumentals to boot. “Java,” a famous Toussaint jazz tune synonymous with Al Hirt, is realized with Torkanowsky laying down his most “humid” piano lines amid a knotty, hard-swinging horn section comprised of Big Chief Donald Harrison, Jr., Payton, and Shorty, with Moore and Singleton driving the rhythm home. The altoist and trumpeter also join the trio on the bluesy, nocturnal “Riverboat,” with its gospel overtones and shimmering atmospheric vibe adorned by gently rolling snare, tom-toms, and electric piano. On the deep funk tip, there’s the eternal “Everything I Do Gon’ Be Funky from Now On” that joins Moore’s trio to sax players Maceo Parker and Skerik, trumpeter Eric Bloom and trombonist Mark Mullins. Neville and the backing vocalists emphasize the Mardi Gras Indian-styled chant in the refrain as the groove thunders. Toussaint was nothing if not a supreme melodist. In the title track, Singleton lays down a gorgeous solo before Moore and Torkanowsky follow to improvise on the harmony with grace and elegance. Actor Wendell Pierce guests on the classic “Southern Nights.” He speaks the lyric with a jazzman’s swing and a rapper’s sense of time. Then Payton takes over the unmistakable sweet soul melody on a B-3 while Torkanowsky adds fills with an electric piano; Singleton and Moore frame it all with a laid-back groove. The icing on the cake is Payton’s Louis Armstrong-inspired trumpet solo to carry it out. It’s likely that other tributes to Toussaint’s genius will follow, but it’s just as likely that few will be as heartfelt and discerning as the Stanton Moore Trio’s With You in Mind. ~ Thom Jurek

01 – Here Come The Girls (feat. Cyril Neville & Trombone Shorty)
02 – Life (feat. Cyril Neville, Nicholas Payton & Skerik)
03 – Java (feat. Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison Jr. & Trombone Shorty)
04 – All These Things (feat. Jolynda Kiki Chapman)
05 – Night People (feat. Maceo Parker)
06 – The Beat (feat. Cyril Neville)
07 – Riverboat (feat. Nicholas Payton & Donald Harrison Jr.)
08 – Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (feat. Maceo Parker)
09 – With You In My Mind
10 – Southern Nights (feat. Nicholas Payton & Wendell Pierce)

Stanton Moore – drums
David Torkanowsky – piano
James Singleton – double bass


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