Stanton Moore Trio

With a sound that's heavily rooted in New Orleans jazz, the Stanton Moore Trio could be fine on its own just sticking to that style of music. Instead, the three opt to pepper their music with well-placed traces of funk and jam-band rifts. That makes sense since Moore, who plays drums, is the founding member of New Orleans funk phenomenon group Galactic, which is known for its astral grooves and soulful playing style. Much of that exploration transfers to Moore's trio (rounded out by organist Robert Walter and guitarist Will Bernard), but it's done in a tighter, more compact manner and obviously doesn't have the big band sound of Galactic. So if you're a fan of New Orleans music — specifically, jazz and funk — Moore's name is one you should get to know. He's put out several albums on heralded jazz and blues label Telarc, and his latest, Emphasis (on Parenthesis), features a good number of solid jazz grooves that show Moore to be a versatile drummer. And it's not often that a drummer gets to front his own jazz trio, a sign that he's a good composer as well. Fans of Medeski, Martin, and Wood will dig this show, as the trio offers a fine balance of straight-ahead jazziness mixed with second-line funk.

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Jonathan Cunningham