New grooves aplenty from Galactics Moore
August 15, 2008
Following are reviews of recent CDs by musicians who will be showing their faces in the valley in the weeks (or year) ahead.
Are Stanton Moore, drummer from New Orleans band Galactic, and Robert Walter, organist from San Diegos Greyboy Allstars, playing head games here? Listen to their respective solo albums, both in trio settings, and youd conclude that Walter, not Moore, was the New Orleans native.For his rhythm section, Walter raids Moores hometown and comes up with drummer Johnny Vidacovich and bassist James Singleton. Beyond that, Walter moves, atypically for him, into a pianists role on several tracks on Cure All. And when he does, as on Scores of Spores and a cover of the traditional Rivers of Babylon, he seems inspired largely by the syncopated grooves of old New Orleans.Which he probably got from Moore. Walter appears as keyboardist on Emphasis! (On Parenthesis); the trio is rounded out by guitarist Will Bernard. Moore mostly drops the New Orleans dialect to play old-school soul-jazz, with modern edges. Moores rhythms here are inspired more by hip-hop than by Bourbon Street, and Bernards guitar has an avant-rock sensibility on (Here Come) The Brown Police. But the trio never stops cooking the groove, and it gets really heated on Over (Compensatin), which nods to the great New Orleans groove group, the Meters.The Stanton Moore Trio, with Robert Walter on keyboards, performs Aug. 29 on the Village Stage at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival. Johnny Vidacovich appears as part of the New Orleans Traveling Road Show, Aug. 27 at Belly Up.
Portland, Ore., alternative rockers seem to be channeling 70s-era David Bowie on Earth to the Dandy Warhols, with the space-funk noises, the outer-space themes, and the intellectual references (to Dostoevsky on the irresistible Welcome to the Third World). And they are channeling him well, making disco-rock seem relevant, sexy and cool, rather than dated, limp and geeky. When the touchstones come from 80s New Wave, like the choppy Now You Love Me, the trip backwards isnt so worth taking. The Dandy Warhols come most of the way back to Earth on the nearly folky Love Song, which features Mark Knopfler (on dobro) and Mike Campbell, guitarist of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (on banjo).The Dandy Warhols make their Aspen debut Sept. 28 at Belly Up.
The a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has always worked the sociopolitical angle, protesting injustice in their native South Africa. It seems to come with the territory. Here, the one-of-a-kind vocal combo focuses its message by paying tribute to Shaka Zulu, a visionary 18th-century leader who helped bring various tribes together to form the South African nation. Ilembe translates to greatest warrior, but the songs praise Shaka Zulus tendency to unite people, rise above jealousy and petty peeves, and focus on peaceful ways.Ladysmith Black Mambazo is scheduled to play Belly Up on March 5, email@example.com