Ralph Moore, “Skylark”

Tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore always impresses with his rock solid technique, a darkly brilliant sound and consistently inventive improvising. i’ve been a big fan of Moore since hearing his session, Images featuring trumpeter Terence Blanchard and pianist Benny Green. with his rendering of “Skylark” from his Savoy recording, Who Is It You Are, also featuring Green as well as drumming legend, Billy Higgins, Moore eschews the well worn path of delicate balladry in favor of a driving beat that alternates between afro-latin and a swing feels. Moore displays such a buttery smooth flow that it’s easy to forget that all of those notes are connected to individual fingerings- he just sings. his sound and intonation are characteristically on point and his fluency in the language of bebop is apparent. what i particularly like about his lines is that they incorporate a generous amount of chromaticism while still outlining the chord progressions underneath them. the effect is a line that is at once familiar and then dense and convoluted. his two chorus solo is full of melodic fragments that are distinctly his own. check out the transcription…

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