Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CD Review: Nick Moran Trio, “No Time Like Now”

No time like now cd_main_image

No Time Like Now

Nick Moran brings a certain urgency to the studio with well crafted compositions for this groovin’ jazz trio consisting of Nick on guitar, Brad Whiteley on organ and Chris Benham on the skins. The opening track might take a minute to recognize, but it’s Eric Clapton and Creams “Strange Brew” which translates nicely to the jazz format, and Nick lays down some wonderful licks all through the tune, which does turn strange indeed. It’s adventurous and deconstructed rock that segues into something more. Something spacey and danceable while paying just enough of a nod to the psychedelic masterpiece with a bit of dissonance and some tasty guitar licks.

The rest of the tunes on the album are all originals, composed by Moran and they display a quiet sneaky talent in jazz composition in deed. this isn’t Jimmy Smith, ‘Chicken Shack’ jazz, nor is it Jimmy McGriff or the classic Wes Montgomery sides that featured the Hammond B3 of Melvin Rhynes. It’s a different flavor, fresh and updated. Its guitar player, Moran’s tribute to the organ bands of the past, buts its more blues and rock and roll in the feel and it’s a bit gritty down in the soul of it. “Some of the music was inspired by loss”, says Moran. “I wanted to capture the immediacy of the moment, the preciousness of the time we have.”

With that kind of picture going in the music is bound to feel a bit blue. Through in Nick Moran’s rock and roll soul, and you have a very nice sophomore effort. The trio can lock onto a groove with a fierceness that grabs you by the heart. It’s a dark and beautiful moment of ravishing poignancy.

“Say Hi To Paris” Nick Moran Trio

A number of songs on the album were inspired by musicians, a number who have sadly left us, and that is the root of the loss. “Say Hi To Paris” is a tribute to New York Blues singer, Frankie Paris.It’s got a funky bass line that runs through the tune, sometimes leading the charge, others hanging back. It bobs and weaves around a subtle melody where Moran gets to show his mastery of the guitar. “Intention” is another favorite, a tribute to jazz bass legend Ron Carter.

“Wishful” thinking is another that’ll grab you and play tricks with your ear. Moran says it was inspired by an idea from Jeff Beck. It opens with an ascending bass groove playing an angular counter melody that changes meter without you realizing it.

The band runs the gambit on No Time Like Now from folk balladry to funereal march and explores some fun time signatures as well as displaying this trios virtuosity. It’s potent, a-wash in tonal colors, and adventurous in phrasing that show Moran’s other side as a rock musician. Pick this one up, there’s No Time Like Now.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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