Telluride Jazz Festival veteran Stanton Moore steps outside of his roll as the king of the percussion for Galactic by offering up solo project Conversations today. The Royal Potato Family label release is what Moore calls his first straight head jazz trio record. Excited yet? With David Torkanowsky on keys, and long time collaborator James Singleton holding down bass duty, the album plays out as a return to Moore’s roots of wanting to just swing and improvise. An approach that will overtly translate well in intimate live settings.
The sonic dialogue between Moore, Singleton and Torkanowsky throughout the progression of Conversations is just that; tight instrumentation that leaves room for solos before falling back into harmonious grooves. As technical as it is free slowing, moments of well executed pausing on “Carnival” are as important as the full organ slides on “Driftin’.”
As if he could do anything else, New Orleans tones drip from every track, but the familiar drum bounce on “Magnolia Triangle” pays proper tribute to James Black, while the Big Easy standard “Paul Barbarin’s Second Lind” touches on accents in a way only Moore could. Attention paid to his hometown sound is a solid indictor of what to expect when he comes to Telluride with supergroup Dragon Smoke. Factor in this work with James Singleton, who will be in town with power trio DVS, and Moore’s stellar bandmates Ivan Neville, Eric Lindell, and Rob Mercusion, what we should expect is one stellar New Orleans Day collaborative celebration at 8,750 feet this August.