THROUGH HIS work with Horace Silver, Roy Haynes, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard and others, tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore established himself as a first-rate jazz journeyman, if hardly a household name. But his new album "Furthermore," like its much acclaimed predecessor "Images," confidently shifts the emphasis from bandmember to bandleader, with Moore once again directing an impressive quintet.
This time around trumpet phenom Roy Hargrove has replaced Terence Blanchard, but apart from the occasional input of drummer Victor Lewis, the rhythm section of pianist Benny Green, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington remains intact and the album adheres to a similarly mainstream mix of originals and standards. Supple and soulful, Moore's tone and phrasing are displayed in a variety of flattering settings: in boppish tandem with Hargrove on the aptly titled "Hopscotch," in a harmonically tart treatment of "Monk's Dream," in the carefree atmosphere of "Phoebe's Samba," in the after-hours aura of "310 Blues" and the muted "Into the Dawn."
The results make for a solid, straight-ahead and often inspired album that puts Moore squarely in his place -- out front where he belongs.
RALPH MOORE -- "Furthermore" (Landmark). Appearing Friday and Saturday at One Step Down.