A New Orleans musician in every sense of the word, drummer Stanton Moore's main gig is with his enormously popular funk band Galactic but he also plays with a wide variety of other musicians in both club and studio settings. Growing up in New Orleans, Moore was attracted to the thriving music scene, where he absorbed the work of Professor Longhair, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, and his mentor, Johnny Vidacovich. After meeting founding Galactic members Robert Mercurio and Rich Vogel in the early '90s, Moore played in a series of early versions of the group, including Galactic Prophylactic and the Ivanhoes (in which the band learned a good portion of the catalog of the legendary Meters, New Orleans' founding funk band).
In 1994, producer Dan Prothero featured the band's song "Black Eyed Pea" on his Is That Jazz compilation. The band soon recorded Coolin' Off (1996) for Fog City Records, joined in the studio (and, eventually, on the road) by vocalist Theryl Declouet. Through constant touring, Moore met and collaborated with many established funk and jazz musicians, including Medeski, Martin & Wood keyboardist John Medeski, Karl Denson, and even the Meters' bassist George Porter, Jr. Two musicians that Moore hit it off with in particular were eight-string guitarist and T.J. Kirk founder Charlie Hunter and saxophonist Skerik. With this core, the band played a handful of live dates and, in the weeks after Mardi Gras 1998, cut what would become Moore's first solo disc, All Kooked Out! The disc also featured a handful of New Orleans horn players, including Brent Rose, Brian Seeger, Matt Perrine, Ben Ellman, and former Sun Ra trumpet player Michael Ray.
Following the recording of Crazyhorse Mongoose with Galactic, crammed in between Galactic tours, Moore traveled with Hunter and Skerik, playing incendiary live shows throughout the West. Many of Moore's songs are included in Galactic's set list. He has often played around New Orleans with a revolving cast of musicians, billed as Moore & More. He has also been a member of the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars. He has released a handful of solo albums, following 1998's previously mentioned All Kooked Out! with Flyin' the Koop in 2001, III in 2006, and Emphasis! On Parenthesis in 2008. Moore has continued to remain active as a member of Galactic, which released their groundbreaking Ya-Ka-May on Anti in February of 2010, and as a solo artist. In April of that year he released Groove Alchemy on the Telarc Jazz imprint.
Moore is, and always has been, an in-demand session drummer. He is also a member of guitarist and songwriter Anders Osborne's recording and touring band (the latter when his own schedule accommodates it) and appeared on his celebrated albums American Patchwork in 2010 and Black Eye Galaxy in 2012. Moore also appeared with Galactic and in other settings on the HBO television drama Treme.
The drummer returned to his jazz roots for his next solo album, recording Conversations with a trio whose other members included pianist David Torkanowsky and bassist James Singleton. The set was issued by Royal Potato Family in the spring of 2014.
Besides near constant activity with Galactic, Moore's working trio with Torkanowsky and Singleton had readied material for a new album. They were set to record in 2015. A few days before sessions began, Allen Toussaint passed away, leaving the entire city of New Orleans -- and much of the music world -- in shock. The trio shelved their own record and immediately went to work selecting material and writing arrangements of material from Toussaint's immense repertoire. They also enlisted help from an elite cast of Crescent City all-stars including Donald Harrison, Jr., Cyril Neville, Trombone Shorty, Nicholas Payton, Skerik, Jolynda Kiki Chapman, Maceo Parker, and actor/musician Wendell Pierce. The finished album, titled With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint, was issued by Cool Green Recordings in July 2017. ~ Jesse Jarnow