Stanton Moore Trio, The Jewish Mother Virginia Beach, VA- 5/22
I expected more of a drumming seminar when Stanton Moore Trio pulled into VA Beach’s Jewish Mother. How could he not take the opportunity to show off when he’s away from his usual Galactic crew? Moore did take plenty of opportunities to show off his chops, but rather than steal the show, he mostly shared. He didn’t need to be overbearing, being on a ride with two old friends who ably shouldered equal parts of the whole. Moore told us that guitarist Cranston Clements and organist/keyman David Torkanowsky helped him along the way when he was a little younger, when he could use any gigs that might float his way, fostering his musicianship in front of live audiences. It’s beautiful to see a touring drummer with a rather well known band stepping out of the box for a few to nod at his past. This is also a tour promoting an upcoming Stanton Moore album (III) on which Clements and Torkanowsky took part; it was recently recorded in New Orleans Preservation Hall.
Knowing Moore’s roots, predictably The Jewish Mother was engulfed in southern Funk (heavy helpings of gumbo baby), some jazz flurries and all-American Rock-n-Roll. From the upcoming album, “Liquorice” and “Catalina” make me want to grab the CD when it’s released and encoring with a boogie-lashed “2%” (also from the upcoming release) was a choice final shuffle. The musical themes Moore brought to the table were a little less stadium ready than Galactic’s total-party funk, but nonetheless amazing.
The night’s musical thread was multicolored because a true musician can’t (won’t?) hide his influences and Moore’s run deep. Covers included Thelonious Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” and instrumental versions of Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” (Clements’ summoned the master’s spirit) and Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks;” sounding extra dark, Torkanowsky’s deep organ swirls signified the oncoming rush. I was personally excited over the Hendrix cover, as some of the more hackneyed possibilities were avoided.
The Jewish Mother is such an intimate setting and Moore was able to post up beside his merch table to sign some wares after the night’s performance. Random area drummers who made it to the show frothed at the mouth, getting to meet Moore and grab his autograph. I was happy just to shake the man’s hand and wonder what project and influences he might want to honor us with next.