Half Notes: Nick Moran Trio – No Time Like Now (2012)

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What struck me first about the Nick Moran Trio’s second album No Time Like Now were the instantly likable melodies and the righteous grooves. But listening to it closer reveals other reasons to like this record: the subtle tempo shifts (“Wishful Thinking”), a soul-jazz take on the blues that retains the soul of the original (Cream’s “Strange Brew”) and picaresque balladry (“My Beautiful”). Consisting of the guitarist leader, Brad Whiteley on organ and Chris Benham on drums, each member brings distinct strengths: Moran is a soulful plectrist inspired by George Benson but often sounding more like Kenny Burrell. Whiteley doesn’t go for the obvious Jimmy Smith licks, often opting for an approach akin to Melvin Rhyne’s. And Benham is so adaptive to the many diverse tasks given him through songs that shift in mood but retain coherency. Other standout tracks are the funk-jazz tune “Slow Drive,” which could easily be mistaken for s stray track from John Scofield’s A Go Go and the sizzling groove of “Say Hi To Paris” (Youtube below), where both Whiteley and Moran deliver inspiring solos.

No Time Like Now goes on sale March 6, by Manor Sound Records. Visit Nick Moran’s website.

Purchase: Nick Moran Trio – No time Like Now

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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