Stanton Moore Trio | 05.06 | Los Angeles

Words by: Jamie Dewaele | Images by: Brigitte Bard

Stanton Moore Trio with Anders Osborne :: 05.06.10 :: The Mint :: Los Angeles, CA

Stanton Moore Trio :: 05.06 :: S.F.
Funk is a genre of music that emphasizes the 'down' or 'off' beat. It is usually played with the expressed purpose of inciting the audience to get up and dance. Music legends like James Brown, Little Richard, George Clinton, and the Funky Meters are credited with creating 'funky' music. Today there is a rich tradition of funk carried on by performers such as Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, the Greyboy Allstars, and Soulive. Galactic is one funk band that has been playing for nearly 15 years. One of Galactic's founding members, drummer Stanton Moore, is currently touring with his trio in support of their new album, Groove Alchemy (released April 13 on Telarc). On this album, Stanton Moore (flanked by Robert Walter on keys and Will Bernard on guitar) explores the roots of funk drumming to provide a blueprint for those drummers out there that would like to grasp the art of funk drumming. In fact, Stanton released a DVD and wrote a book that accompanies the album.

Stanton was born in New Orleans and attended Loyola University, where he was awarded a BA in music and business. Stanton remained in New Orleans where he learned from and was influenced by musicians such as Dr. John, Professor Longhair, and The Meters. In 1996 he helped found Galactic, recently labeled in David Simon's new show Treme as "a white version of The Meters." Stanton's list of collaborators reads like a who's who of improvisational musicians: John Scofield, Chris Wood, Charlie Hunter, Skerik, Donald Harrison, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Marco Benevento, just to name a few. Two musicians that he has teamed up with more recently to form his trio are Robert Walter and Will Bernard. Walter is easily one of the most talented jazz-funk keyboardists around. Walter grew up in San Diego, where he attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts. It was in San Diego that he helped to found the legendary jazz-funk revival group, the Greyboy Allstars. After touring extensively and establishing himself with the Allstars, Walter founded the 20th Congress. Since then, he has played with such notable musicians as Melvin Sparks, Reuben Wilson, Mike Clark, and Steve Kimock.

Anders Osborne :: 05.06 :: S.F.
Berkley native Will Bernard is a fantastic guitarist who straddles many different genres. He has been involved with everything from jazz to funk to world music to hip-hop and beyond. Bernard has played in many different bands, including Motherbug, Frequinox, and the Will Bernard Trio. He is a Grammy-nominated guitarist whose style compares favorably to that of the legendary Grant Green. He has collaborated with such amazing musicians as Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charlie Hunter, Zigaboo Modeliste and John Medeski.

At The Mint, these three talented musicians began their tour as the Stanton Moore Trio with very special guest, singer-songwriter Anders Osborne on guitar and vocals.

The Mint was absolutely packed. In fact, there was a line of about 30 people outside hoping for a chance to get in and see the show. The Trio took the stage at 10:15 p.m. and Stanton announced that they would play a couple of tunes as the Trio, then bring out Osborne for the rest of the first set, and then the second set would be all Trio. Right from note one of the opener "Pie-Eyed Manc," the crowd got to dancing and ate up every note of music that came off that stage. They played three songs as the Trio before Osborne came out. Anders Osborne is a guitar player with a very southern-fried style, and he absolutely shreds on the guitar. In fact, he turned the Trio into a southern rock band for the next six songs. For the most part, his songs were very high energy, prompting Stanton to leap off his stool to bang on his cymbals and bass drum. This Trio is so much fun to watch because of the enthusiasm coming from Stanton Moore and Walter's ability to play bass notes and organ notes at the same time.

After a 30-minute breather, the second set began and there was a lot more room in The Mint. They opened the set with a tune off Groove Alchemy called "Squash Blossom," which contained some really good interplay between the three musicians. This tune showcased the fact that they have been playing together as a trio for a long time.

The highlight of the second set and perhaps the entire evening, was a Stanton original called "Sprung Monkey" featuring Ephraim Owens on trumpet and Shelley Carrol on saxophone that clocked in at 12 minutes! Next was a James Booker tune called "Keep On Gwine" that featured Bernard using his slide skills. This tune was followed by a Galactic original called "Who Took the Happiness Away?" that included a devastating guitar solo by Bernard. They closed the set and the evening with a song called "Late Night at the Maple Leaf" that sent the crowd out into the streets of L.A. in high spirits.

This show was a lot of fun and the sold out crowd danced for the duration. Which was no surprise because the type of music these three guys play when they're together makes it impossible to keep one's feet still.

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[Published on: 5/24/10]

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