With the release of his fourth CD as a leader, DRUM N BASS SOCIETY - Vol. 1 (Blue Canoe Records - 2004), Joseph Patrick Moore captures a variety of moods, sound textures, and grooves - yes, he always grooves. His musical inspiration comes from a diverse range of musical styles and is motivated by the influences of various legendary artists of many different musical genres. Yet, his music still retains the right creative balance between familiarity and uniquely original in context.
Drum N Bass Society - Vol. 1 includes 7 Joseph Patrick Moore original compositions, including a dedication to jazz piano titan, Herbie Hancock. Released March 2, 2004, this latest CD also presents Moore's arranging and orchestration skills with new takes on some familiar songs by Phish, Tony Williams, Men At Work, The Specials, and The Fixx. There is a lot of really enjoyable music on this 15-track release. And despite the variety of material presented here, the flow of the record progresses coherently from track to track and provides a really nice listening experience.
Joseph Patrick Moore also brings together a potpourri of diverse talent. Drum N Bass Society - Vol. 1 features a host of other musicians. Included on the project with Moore are: Jeff Sipe, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Count M'butu, Adam Nitti, El Buho, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Mark Van Allen, Vance Thompson, Buzz Amato, Temple Passmore, Johnny Mosier, Larry Blewitt, Dave Freeman, Ben Taylor, Tim Ussery, Emrah Kotan, Howard Parks, Kenneth Lovell, Ziya Devletsha, Brent Cundall, Jay Ackerman, Vic Stafford, Matthew Messer, Ryan Taylor, Ira Hochberg, Kirsten Shippert and Heather Purdin. All of these artists make significant and seamless contributions to a very professionally produced collection of music.
More musicians today are competently assuming roles of both, recording artist and businessperson. The advances in recording, reasonable duplication rates, and qualified music distribution opportunities mean that more independent artists have access to the market place.
Joseph Patrick Moore is among this new breed of 21st Century Artists. He is also one of those who have successfully integrated the technological aspects that are inherent with today's modern society with the intimacy and personal touch that is still required to connect with human listeners of music. A lot of passion and thought has gone into each note.
Joseph has been involved in music since early childhood. He first started playing the alto saxophone in school bands, later added the drums, and eventually found his musical voice when he began playing the bass during his sophomore year of high school. After receiving a scholarship upon graduating high school to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, he decided to transfer and move to Memphis in order to both; continue his studies at the University of Memphis, and also broaden his experiences as a live performer on the historic Beale Street music scene.
While in Memphis, Joseph Patrick Moore worked and toured with such established artists as: the former Art Blakey jazz pianist, James Williams; legendary jazz guitarist, Herb Ellis; noted entertainer and pop vocalist, Marie Osmond; world famous comedian and actor, Jerry Lewis; and many others.
Now based in Atlanta, Joseph Patrick Moore has now gained some valuable experience, which is also reflected in his music. This music is best described as "World Jazz", in that it borrows from many musical propensities, of many musical cultures, while still remaining grounded in American Jazz traditions of improvisation and interaction among the performing musicians.
Joseph also formed Blue Canoe Records in 1993, as an independent label that focuses on jazz music, but is not entirely exclusive to only jazz music. In addition to Moore's Drum N Bass Society - Vol. 1, Atlanta-based Blue Canoe Records has started to expand its roster with other releases. Located in Atlanta, the Blue Canoe Records mission is to bridge the gap between creativity and commerce.
Joseph Patrick Moore continues his professional activities as bassist, composer, arranger, and music producer. He is active as a music educator through www.MusicDojo.com and in addition to his own 4 releases; Joseph Patrick Moore has appeared on 40 other CDs as well. Our interview dialogue follows...
Joseph, I'd like to begin this interview by concentrating on your latest release on Blue Canoe Records, Drum N Bass Society - Vol. 1. You have 15 tracks on this CD and all of the work is really excellent. What was your conceptual vision in developing this project from ideas to production?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] My last CD, "Alone Together" (June 2002) was an all solo bass recording and I was the only one on the CD (hence the title, Alone Together). On "Drum and Bass Society", I wanted to take the exact opposite approach. Out of the 15 tunes, I believe I only have two bass solos. Furthermore, there are 25 + musicians on this CD.
It was a bigger production and I really wanted to feature these artists and just have fun and be the "bass player" in the band. I wanted the music to focus heavily on drums and percussion, mixed with interplay among the musicians. I also wanted to take a few familiar sounding pop tunes like "Down Under" (Men At Work) or "One Thing Leads to Another" (The Fixx) and twist them.
Lets talk about your creative process. How do you approach writing an original song - do you compose from the bass or use a piano?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Both. On "Never Never Land" (1996), I composed 90% of the songs on piano. On "Alone Together", it was 100% bass. On the "Drum and Bass Society" it was a little of both. There is a certain element and harmonic value that you get out of a piano that is hard to capture on any other instrument. The piano provides you with the melody, the bass and the harmony all at your fingertips.
Are your original compositions based upon specific messages that you want to convey through the music, or do they come from specific subjects from your life experiences?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Because my music is mostly instrumental and no "words" define the song or give it meaning in a literary sense, I have to rely on imagery. Sometimes I will see a movie in my head and I try to re-create the mood that I am seeing. Other times, I will work off the title of the tune and try to convey that subject or message with the use of key, tempo, instrumentation etcŠ etc... While it's fun to fantasize, more often then not, the tunes come from a life experience and I try to re-create that feeling.
You use a wide variety of musicians on DRUM N BASS SOCIETY - Vol. 1. Was this due to logistical and scheduling considerations or did you specifically choose these individual artists because of what they brought to that particular song?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] I picked certain artists for certain tunes. Scheduling concerns didn't really factor into this CD performance very much. However, for a few who couldn't make the sessions, we recorded in various locations in and around the South (Atlanta, Nashville, Arkansas).
The studio recording and production values on DRUM N BASS SOCIETY - Vol. 1 are impeccable. How did you find the balance that we hear on the record between the various digital instruments, acoustic instruments and vocals?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Thank you for pointing that out, we worked hard on that. I really like synthesizers, sound effects etc. But nothing in my opinion replaces the musician. I really strived to have the musician's capture the performance and THEN layer and add digital instruments and effects around their performance. Emily Lazar, who mastered the CD, added a lot as well.
What are you doing to promote DRUM N BASS SOCIETY - Vol. 1?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Since "Drum and Bass Society" was released on my label (Blue Canoe Records), I am actively involved in the business decisions that are made. I work with our team to find a cost effective way to get the CD out and market it effectively. We sent the CD to 1300+ radio/magazines/websites around the globe. We have run a few advertisements, and at the moment we are currently working on booking some shows and festivals. That info will be posted on my site.
Do you plan any special tours or specific live performances to support DRUM N BASS SOCIETY - Vol. 1?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] If the budget is right we can make that happen. Currently the touring will be billed as JPM and Friends. The "Drum and Bass Society" would be an expensive touring group due to the size. Initially, I wanted the DnB Society to be just a studio project that I would re-visit in the coming years, occasionally featuring many OTHER artists (Hence the title-Volume 1). Again who knows, if the budget is right, and the stars align, it will happen.
The next area of questioning concerns your label, Blue Canoe Records. Why did you start your own label?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] It was started out of necessity! I did what every other musician/artist tries to do at some point and that was look and shop for a deal. Man what a rat race that experience was! Like others, I became disillusioned at that whole process. Furthermore, I have always admired folks like Ani Difranco, Prince, Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, Tony Levin, and Herbie Hancock - all who have started their own labels. I also received a very honest, uplifting email from Peter Erskine (Drummer/Weather Report) who started his own label as well. His words of wisdom made a lot of sense to me; and that really got my going on the idea.
While these artists have more name recognition than I do, it's still about the MUSIC! The music business of today is shifting into the hands of the artists that make the music. Lawyers and marketing firms and business people who don't play instruments run the major labels. It comes to a basic point, "Do I want anyone controlling my life" "Do I want and need these people to prevent me or accept me for making and sharing music that God has given me in my life" The answer is an obvious NO. Gil Scott Heron said, "the revolution will not be televised", he was right and I believe the revolution has been computerized!
Because of the Internet and it is global reach, the power is swinging back into the hands of the creative artists where it belongs! Don't get my wrong, the Major labels will always exist and may be needed, but their role is changing drastically.
What solutions have you found with regard to distribution, promotion and marketing of your label titles?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Other than touring, all of these elements you mentioned are apart of it and we are always evaluating our opportunities. With regards to distribution, you need to get your CD out in front of as many people as possible. There will always be an element of the traditional "Bricks and Mortar" stores, but again those traditional thoughts are changing thanks to digital downloading.
There are many Internet sites such as CDBaby or Amazon.com that are bonafide companies that have huge amounts of traffic, that are becoming today's new Brick and Mortar avenues. Some people will always want a tangible, physical product to hold in their hands. The younger generation coming up isn't as concerned about that. With regards to promotion and marketing, again it is a necessity. You can have the best distribution in the world, but if you don't have a label/team of people who are actively promoting your CD, you are going to get boxes of your product back.
How would a Music Supervisor license the music from Blue Canoe Records?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Currently, we have several avenues in which we are actively seeking these opportunities. We are committed to the placement of pre-existing music/catalog and presenting these to Music Supervisors for tv and film. Outside of our reach and our sources, if a Music Supervisor heard our music and was interested in licensing Blue Canoe Records material, we have a license form on the BlueCanoeRecords.com website that they could submit.
What is your Artist Submissions Policy at Blue Canoe Records?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] Currently we are not accepting unsolicited material through the mail, but hope to change that policy in the future. However, we do encourage artists to send us websites and direct us to MP3's of their bands.
Thanks for your time and consideration of this article and interview. Any last thought for our readers?
[Joseph Patrick Moore] I would say to all who are reading this, follow your heart! Never let anyone or anything stop you from making music. It all comes back to that! Be true to yourself and don't get led astray or thrown off course. Stay focused, have a vision with a plan and spread your music to all who will listen.