Local reviews

Jul. 04, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

Some old and new from Ironing Board Sam

Ironing Board Sam, “Double Bang!” (Music Maker Relief Foundation)

Pianist and songwriter Sam Moore, better known as Ironing Board Sam, began a relationship with Hillsborough’s Music Maker Relief Foundation a few years ago. The fruits of that partnership are chronicled on this new two-CD set.

It includes tracks from “Going Up,” Moore’s first collection for the foundation, and 11 newer original tunes recorded with horns and a full rhythm section. Moore takes a fine keyboard solo on the opener “Ever Look at a Tree.” His voice is wonderfully expressive on the ballad “Bedroom Window,” a lament for lost love, but he also has fun with a dance tune like “Do the Ironing Board.” The arrangements and vocals to these sessions have that Stax Records sound that is guaranteed to make you feel the warmth of home, or nostalgia for the old neighborhood.

There’s an added prize to this set that is pure gold – 10 songs Moore recorded on 45s in the late 1960s and in 1970 for different labels. Tunes like “Raining in My Heart,” “Treat Me Right” and “Original Funky Bell Bottom” are classics of blues and rhythm and blues. Now, thanks to this collection, many of us can hear Moore’s early contributions to American soul music for the first time.

--Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun

Well-crafted compositions from Eagle

Martin Eagle Quartet, “Lost and Found” (Hawksnest Music)

Pianist and composer Martin Eagle performs frequently at Beyu Caffe and other venues around the area. Listeners who have not heard him should pick up his new release “Lost and Found” (www.hawksnestmusic.com), which contains 10 well-crafted compositions from Eagle. Joining Eagle on this release are Dave Gitlen on guitar, Peter Innocenti on bass and Jeff Crouse on drums.

The ensemble playing and soloing from this quartet are superb. Listen to Eagle’s opening solo on the title song, followed by Gitlen’s subtle entrance on guitar and Crouse’s almost imperceptible entrance on drums.  Eagle’s compositions, while leaving room for improvisation, also show his strong sense of melody. “Oddly Enough” has a clever “hook” in the melody in the piano. “Beijo” has an opening piano figure that gives this moderate tempo tune a mysterious feel. “Found,” which rounds out this collection, has a quiet, meditative feel, with Gitlen carrying the melody on guitar.

All around, this CD has some solid work from a local musician who continues to ensure Durham has a local jazz scene.

--Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun