Stanton Moore Trio 12.4.10 Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man

We arrived at Cervantes after battling horrific traffic in Downtown Denver for the "Parade of Lights". I was surprised to see the Cervantes "Other Side" seemed as packed as Downtown was. We slipped through the rickety side door into a crowded room. It was a struggle to move. Immediately I felt claustrophobic. I glanced over to the stage and forgot about the crowd.

"HOLY SHIT!" I said out loud to no one. "They're fucking killing it..."

Without a second thought I was pulled right into Stanton Moore's aggressive, yet diverse and calculated drumming. He was leaping off of his stool as he played with a smile or expression like he was going to devour the drum set whole. I realized my jaw was hanging open. I had never seen Stanton in an environment as small as Cervantes Other Side. It was almost overwhelming. I dig what Stanton does with Galactic, but I love his jazz projects. Guys like guitarist Will Bernard and organist Wil Blades challenge Stanton, pushing him to a whole other level.

Will Bernard was ripping at the guitar with little to no expression on his face. He was killing it like it was his job, sounding more solid than I have ever heard him sound. His ability to beast through scales and make his guitar scream with accurate chops, lend credence to the notion that Will Bernard is one of the most underrated guitarist on the scene.

It was the first time I had seen Wil Blades. This mystery man seemed to have replaced Robert Walters on several gigs/progects. I was expecting great things, but I could have never anticipated what I heard that night. Wil's playing was extremely tasteful. He was subtle and light on the keys when the jam called for it, heavy and strong when the time right. His ability to read the direction of the jam, as well as carry the tunes with ease made me understand why I have seen Wil's name at an increasing rate.

The chemistry was perfect. My love and desire for jazz was filled that evening. I could easily tell that I was in the presence of talent on another level. Jazz music commands a certain respect that all three of these gentleman were more than worthy of. If you get a chance to see any of these three musicians, you should take it. If you get a chance to see all three of them together... Do... not... miss it.

J-man's Photo Gallery from the show.


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