Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lester Leaps Again: The Brew Moore Quintet

In its pell-mell rush from New Orleans to infinity, jazz has left a number of styles behind. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing in some cases, but others ought to be placed on an endangered species list and lovingly fostered. Right now, I’m thinking of the school of bop-influenced Lester Young tenor disciples like Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Allen Eager, and Brew Moore. They all achieved a beautiful mix of sound and ideas that seems all the more refreshing in contrast to the Hawkins/Rollins/Coltrane school that dominates our  era. Above all, they had the gift of easy, inevitable swing in every note they played.  I love today’s tenor players, but couldn’t they relax once in a while? Given the news these days, we could use some relaxation.

Take Milton (Brew) Moore (1924–1973), for example. He famously stated that “Anyone who doesn’t play like Lester Young is wrong,” yet he also assimilated the language of bebop. A true jazz itinerant Jack Kerouac was a fan), Moore wound up in Denmark before his untimely death from a fall in 1973.  In the 1950s, he temporarily relocated to San Francisco, where he recorded The Brew Moore Quintet, a good introduction to his work. It’s a fine collection of old standards like Tea for Two and Them Their Eyes, along with a number of originals by pianist John Marabuto. Moore tips his hat to Prez with I Want a Little Girl. Although he could really caress a ballad, as on Fools Rush In, the other tracks are exemplars of the wonderful laid-back swing that seems to be virtually a lost art these days. Trumpeter Dicky Mills, Bassist Max Hartstein, and drummer Gus Gustofson are uniformly good, but this album is Brew’s show.

Here's I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment