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Michael Moore: The History of Jazz, Volume 1

For The History of Jazz, Vol. 2: Dedications (Arbors), bassist Michael Moore leads an unusual trio, with drummer Tom Melito and Ken Peplowski on clarinet and tenor. If the instrumentation seems limiting, the scope of their project may very well be endless.

The CD’s subtitle indicates that Moore not only covers diverse styles with neglected standards, as he did in Vol. 1 (2000), but an opportunity to dedicate six appropriate originals to six musicians with whom he has played, or simply admires. Peplowski labels them “Michael’s abstract paintings.” Whatever the concept, the playing is superb. Moore is a gentle, laid-back swinger more concerned with supplying just the right notes rather than playing too much. He’s the Basie of the bass, as comfortable playing piano for his first dedication (to Jimmy Rowles), as he is with his main instrument. On another tribute, to introduce Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays,” Moore plays an excerpt from a suite for unaccompanied cello by Bach. It’s that kind of eclectic album.

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