Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Elton Dean: Moorsong

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

It may seem strange that half of the new CD by British experimental-jazz saxophonist Elton Dean sounds like a stab for the opening slot on Medeski, Martin and Wood’s next tour, but it’s true: Moorsong is primarily an organ-driven jam-band album. Dean was a member of rock-jazzers Soft Machine from 1969 to 1972, however, and despite his long history of playing free and avant-garde jazz, he has groove deep in the heart.

Dean is the man who way back when provided the stage surname for Eminem’s best friend, Elton John (the two played together in the mid-’60s band Bluesology), and the saxophonist gets positively flamboyant and funky on Moorsong’s first five tracks. Hammond organist Alex Maguire dominates the album’s first half with the sort of barroom-organ grinding heard more often on those Blue Note rare-groove records than a Dean album.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.