Stanton Moore – Groove Alchemy

January 01, 1970



Moore might be best known for his drum work with the funk band Galactic,
although he has shown up albums on albums by everyone from Corrosion of Conformity
to Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). He has been picking up speed as a
leader, and Groove Alchemy marks his
third album in that capacity. On it, he sets out to cover the roots of funk
drums, taking into account the styles of Zigaboo Modeliste (the Meters), Clyde
Stubblefield, and Jabo Starks (both with James Brown). A Groove Alchemy book and DVD set have also been released to further
illustrate the drumming styles. If the support materials might only appeal to
the drum techs in the audience, the music on the disc has plenty of grease for
everyone else to chew on.


Will Bernard and organist Robert Walter join Moore who indeed explores
different beats and rhythms with each track. In the wrong hands, funk can bring
out either than unending, flaccid grooves or the smarm in some musicians, but these
12 tracks place plenty of forward motion in the melodic aspects of the pieces,
with the rhythms doing their job of driving things along. Moore begins the
album giving his kit a big arena rock sound (“Squash Blossom”) but like his
beats, he thankfully varies the sound, going from Modeliste all the way to John
Bonham – sometimes in one track –  as the
band goes from second line beats to soulful descending riffs. While all three
musicians play with passion, Walter’s performance nearly takes over the
spotlight due to his ability to handle all the bass parts on the pedals and
still dance gracefully with the melodies on organ and piano.


Standout Tracks: “Root
Cellar,” “Nips and Tatties” MIKE SHANLEY


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