Review b y — Dan Hopper
Joseph Patrick Moore has once again proven his versatility as a bass player, arranger and composer. Unfortunately, his music is all over the board stylistically, which may lower its appeal.
“Volume 1” is layered with diverse songs, all of which contain complex musical patterns. Moore and his backing musicians groove as hard as George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at times, and Moore’s skills on bass are definitely comparable to Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins.
The songs have a light-hearted enough tone to fit with any jazz listener’s taste, but the superb backbeats give most of the songs a Latin and funk feel.
There is even a hint of some Caribbean and Arabian influences found throughout. “Down Under”, the leadoff track, could not have received a better title. The music sounds like it could fit perfectly with a TV advertisement for a South Pacific Island‘s vacation getaway.
The music features shakers, congas, Udu drums, a mandolin, a flute and even a pizza box scraped, tapped and swirled with jazz brushes. The choice of instruments is innovative, though slightly unconventional.
“Ghost Town” starts out with a few bone-chilling screams. The lyrics mention a ghost town, but the music brings images of deserts and sandstorms with a little enchantment placed upon them.
“Creatures of Conscience,” a Tony Williams composition, has the strongest groove and features an extremely syncopated jazz-funk drum pattern. Jeff Sipe‘s tom fills, high-hat work and borderline-genius drum solo in this song are admirable, considering his name is one not generally mentioned outside of jazz and funk musician circles.
“Creatures Of Conscience” is a good song, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of Moore’s album. He is a bassist and the track obviously features the drums. The bass is barely noticeable.
This is without question a “musician’s album,” meaning the people who would buy it would most likely be musicians who are deeply versed in complicated musical styles or those with a deep love for groove-oriented music or appreciation in general.