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Joseph Patrick Moore — To Africa With Love

May 1, 2010

 Packed with a repertoire that absolutely requires a demanding bass with thunderous bass lines, bassist Joseph Patrick Moore storms forth with a very heavy jazz/funk/rock blend that’s sure to capture even the casual listener’s attention.  To Africa With Love, due in stores on May 11, brings everything needed to be considered complete and totally satisfying.

This is fusion of an extraordinary variety. It brings intensity, light, and sophistication. Oh, this is not some erratically conceived project that was thrown together in hopes of making a few bucks off the undiscerning.  This is material for the serious aficionado of good fusion, good funk, very good bass playing, and quality music.

After a solid tribute to The Meters with a take on their mid-70s “Fire on the Bayou,” Moore rolls into a rousing and doubly solid funkster called “Bass Song.” This one has that punchy, fat Marcus Miller feel.  The title track bears an uncanny resemblance to something Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) might undertake, even down to the vocals, provided by co-writer Seth Condrey. Really decent stuff!

Another example of Moore’s potent bass lines can be found on “Adventures of Tigger and Alice,” a splendidly written slow-to-mid-tempo piece that again accentuates the funk element.  You can sense the power of the piece, and I can only imagine what it was like in the studio with this track. Wouldn’t I have loved to have witnessed that firsthand!

“Ubuntu” is a bit tough to pin down to a label at first, as it bounces about in a light but up-tempo groove that suddenly turns a bit intense and funky.  It’s followed by a very catchy, hook-rich “Eyerusalem” with smooth vocals by Chinua Hawk.

So it is throughout this entire album. Earthy, at times atypically challenging (in a very good way), and radiant, To Africa With Love is not your run-of-the-mill smooth jazz. No, this is attitude that speaks volumes about the amount and depth of insight, foresight, effort, and overall musicianship that obviously went into this album. Very, very satisfying indeed.  -  Ronald Jackson