Emphasis! (on parenthesis)
Sometimes the only point is to have fun. Stanton Moore, the drummer in the funk band Galactic and the avant-funk group Garage a Trois, has been proving for years how mirth can be enough. With the cheekily titled Emphasis (on parenthesis), Moore returns with the same trio that propelled his previous album, III. This is an organ trio that knows how to have a good time. Keyboardist Robert Walter and guitarist Will Bernard are on board with the idea here: they know they’ve been enlisted to rock the house, not to dazzle us with solos. Funk-jazz makes you dance; you’re not sitting in an auditorium, folks. Still, Moore has some tricks up his sleeve. His deceptively complex work on “(late night at the) Maple Leaf”—every song title contains a parenthetical—creates the illusion that he is playing half a measure behind or ahead of the beat. The group turns in some penetrating hard funk on “(proper) Gander” that might have scared Booker T. & the MG’s. All over, there are infectious riffs and grooves. And Moore keeps it interesting. He gets some vastly differing sounds out of his kit from tune to tune, to the degree where you wonder whether he is using not just a variety of sticks and mallets but several drum sets.