Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience with Moreno, who set up shop in New York precisely a decade ago. You noticed him on tour with Joshua Redman’s Elastic Band, or backing the neo-gospel powerhouse Lizz Wright. Maybe you’ve heard him carving up “Suspicion,” the most aggressively syncopated track on Identity, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s 2005 MaxJazz breakthrough. Or you landed on Moreno’s MySpace page and heard samples from Between the Lines, his own accomplished and auspicious new debut.
Moreno hails from Houston, the wellspring of so much recent talent in jazz and R&B. Last year when I visited his alma mater, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, jazz director Warren Sneed cited him as a success story, alongside drummer Kendrick Scott and a few others. Moreno matriculated at the New School in New York with the highest scholarship the institution had ever awarded a guitarist.