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Michael Moore


04-12-1954 - current


altsaxofoon, basklarinet, improvised, jazz, klarinet, melodica

Michael Moore

Reed player Michael Moore (Eureka, California, 4 December 1954) arrives in the Netherlands from the US with Available Jelly in the late 1970s, and settles in Amsterdam permanently in 1982. His stylistic flexibility and widely acclaimed sound on alto saxophone and (especially) on clarinet, as well as his reading ...
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altsaxofoon, basklarinet, klarinet, melodica

Mentioned in the biography of

1975   Ernst Reijseger
1977   Franky Douglas
1982   Misha Mengelberg
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Biography Michael Moore

Reed player Michael Moore (Eureka, California, 4 December 1954) arrives in the Netherlands from the US with Available Jelly in the late 1970s, and settles in Amsterdam permanently in 1982. His stylistic flexibility and widely acclaimed sound on alto saxophone and (especially) on clarinet, as well as his reading skills make him an in demand sideman in the Dutch improvisation scene, with Guus Janssen, Maarten Altena, the ICP Orchestra, Eric Boeren and others. In addition he keeps Available Jelly going and develops into the most productive composer for this band. Michael Moore starts forming his own bands, like the improvising Quartet, the more jazz-oriented Quintet and the chamber music-like group Fragile. He is a member of the collective Clusone Trio and interprets the music of Bob Dylan with the trio Jewels and Binoculars. On his own label Ramboy he releases CDs by all of his own groups. In between he guests with various groups, ranging stylistically from jazz and improvised music to various forms of world music (from Turkish and Portuguese to Malinese and Brazilian). His interest in music from all corners of the earth also shows from the arrangements of ethnic music, from the Balkan, Madagascar, Indonesia and Burma, he writes for Available Jelly.

Played in

Available Jelly   altsaxofoon, basklarinet, klarinet, melodica
Clazz Ensemble   altsaxofoon, klarinet
Estrellas de Ahora   klarinet
Instant Composers Pool   altsaxofoon, basklarinet, klarinet
Klezmokum   klarinet
Orkater Millennium Orkest   klarinet

1978 - 1981

Available Jelly, the group started by saxophonist Stuart Curtis and Michael Moore's brother, multi-instrumentalist Gregg Moore, sails to Europe, accompanying The Great Salt Lake City Mime Troupe. Michael Moore joins them in Amsterdam. The Americans feel at home in the Dutch capital and decide to settle here permanently. Although the band initially plays many covers, Michael Moore emerges more and more as the group's chief composer. When Gregg Moore relocates to Portugal in 1995, Michael becomes the band's leader. After a series of personnel changes Available Jelly gels into a sextet in 1995, featuring Eric Boeren (cornet), Wolter Wierbos (trombone), Tobias Delius (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Ernst Glerum (bass) and Michael Vatcher (drums). When Delius leaves in 2006 the Slovenian tubaist Goran Krmac joins the group temporarily, and at the moment Oren Marshall and Gregg Moore share the tuba duties. Moore records six CDs with Available Jelly. The experience Michael Moore gained with The Great Salt Lake City Mime Troupe equips him perfectly as a musical partner for various theater troupes, like Baal, the Dogtroep, De Mug Met De Gouden Tand and De Voorziening. He can also be found in the company of dancers like Katie Duck, Sushaku Takeuchi and Pauline de Groot.


At drummer Han Bennink's request Michael Moore is asked to join the Instant Composers Pool. He tours Japan with the band, where they record the live LP Japan Japon. Gradually the reed player becomes an indispensible factor in the ensemble. He also starts contributing compositions and arrangements. In 1982 Moore can also be heard in the production De Holle Toon by theater maker Teo Joling. In 1985 the two collaborate again for the show De Aap Darwin.


His excellent reading skills and inspiring improvisations make Michael Moore the obvious choice for pianist-composer Guus Janssen's septet. After a first eponymous LP from 1984 Moore also records 85….86 (1987) with the group. After this Moore and Janssen's musical paths regularly cross.


Michael Moore is awarded the Boy Edgar Prijs (the major Dutch jazz award). At the award ceremony at the Amsterdam Bimhuis the American pianist Jaki Byard (one of the laureate's former teachers) and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy are the guests of honor. In the same year saxophonist Sean Bergin invites Moore to join his first own group, My Own Band (MOB). In 1988 the ensemble's debut album, Kids Mysteries, is released.


The Bimhuis's artistic director, Huub van Riel, invites Michael Moore for the international October Meeting for improvisers. Moore is also on the roster for the second edition in 1991. In 1987 bassist and band leader Maarten Altena includes Moore in his Maarten Altena Octet (later rechristened Maarten Altena Ensemble). The first CD including the reed player is Rif. Later Quotl (1988) and Cities & Streets (1989) are to follow.


Cellist Ernst Reijseger composes an ad hoc quartet for the festival in the Italian town of Clusone, featuring Michael Moore, Guus Janssen and drummer Han Bennink. The collaboration is such a success that they decide to continue, although Janssen soon opts out. As the Clusone Trio the threesome build a reputation for the agility with which they can switch between jazz standards, pop tunes, original compositions and free improvisations. After the release of the eponymous debut album on Moore's own Ramboy label a number of illustrious foreign record companies like Hat Art and Gramavision show an interest in the band. Their six albums are met with rave reviews, and Soft Lights & Sweet Music is awarded no less than four stars by the authoritative Penguin Guide.


In his band Sunchild guitarist Franky Douglas includes musicians with a Surinam and Antillean origin as well as improvisers from the Dutch scene, including Michael Moore. In 1993 the group records its only CD at the North Sea Jazz Festival: The Visions Project. Douglas and Moore remain musical partners, inside and outside Sunchild. Thus they join forces on Douglas' album On the Roof (1998). Drummer Gerry Hemingway forms a new quintet, in which the Amsterdam improvised music scene is heavily represented with Michael Moore, Wolter Wierbos and Ernst Reijseger. Over the course of ten years the reed player can be heard on five of the American drummer's albums. Hemingway is also featured on Michael Moore's debut as a leader: Home Game. The CD isn't released until 1992, however. Trumpeter Herb Robertson, pianist Fred Hersch and bassist Mark Helias fill out the band. In addition to this studio quintet Moore forms a quartet as a working band, with the English pianist Alex Maguire, Ernst Reijseger and drummer Michael Vatcher. In 1993 the group's debut album is released: Négligé. The Persons is a rock band Moore had started in the States before coming to Europe. In 1989 he reforms the group (to include Ernst Reijseger, among others), and records the CD World Surf Music. Over the years two more albums by the outfit are to follow.


Saxophonist Jasper Blom invites Moore to join the new quintet Zut Alors!, which tries to bridge the gap between jazz and Dutch improvised music. In 1992 the band's only CD is released: Pie Dough. Moore regularly works with the German pianist Georg Gräwe, especially in the latter's Grubenklang Orchester. He can be heard playing on the orchestra's CD Flavours, Fragments (1994). In order to perform his theater music in concert violist-composer Maurice Horsthuis starts the orchestra Amsterdam Drama. The members of the ensemble are recruited from both the improvised and composed music worlds and Michael Moore joins the reed section. The group has a life of five years and releases three CDs.


Since he has trouble getting his 1989 quintet recordings, as well as music by the Clusone Trio, released on CD Michael Moore starts his own label, Ramboy. Over the course of 20 years he builds a catalog of some 25 titles.


Michael Moore replaces the more traditional clarinetist Marcel Salomon in pianist Burton Greene's group Klezmokum. Moore is the horn player on the band's eponymous debut album, but he doesn't stay with the ensemble long.


When the Amsterdam Concertgebouw offers the American classical cellist Yo Yo Ma a carte blanche Michael Moore writes a special composition for him and a group of improvisers including his Dutch colleague Ernst Reijseger. Later that year Moore records an album with a trio comprising pianist Fred Hersch and bassist Mark Helias: Chicoutimi. The chamber music atmosphere on the CD is inspired by the Jimmy Giuffre Trio from the early 1960s (with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Steve Swallow). In 1998 Moore records the CD Bering with the same personnel. Tunes for Horn Guys (1993) is the title of a CD which features Moore with three fellow horn players (Ab Baars, Frank Gratkowski and Wolter Wierbos). The inspiration for the music partly derives from wind music from the Croatian island of Krk.


The Antwerp venue De Singel invites Moore to program three evenings of music, for which he can pick his musical partners. The impressive roster features the names of Misha Mengelberg, Gerry Hemingway, drummer Joey Baron, saxophonist Lee Konitz, pianist Marilyn Crispell, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and violinist Mark Feldman.


As a result of a series of concerts featuring the music of Ornette Coleman cornetist Eric Boeren starts a new 4tet. Besides bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Han Bennink he gets his Available Jelly partner Michael Moore on board. In the fifteen years of its existence the band records three CDs: Joy of A Toy (1999), Soft Nose (2001) and Song for Tracy the Turtle (2010).


The Clusone Trio tops the annual Downbeat Critics Poll as small group in the category 'talent deserving wider recognition'. In 2000-2002 Moore triumphs as clarinetist in the same category.


The Amsterdam based Brazilian guitarist Rogério Bicudo asks Moore to join his quartet Chôro Combinado, which makes its recording debut with the album Sonoroso. In 2002 the CD Curare follows.


Michael Moore The Austrian flugelhorn player Franz Koglmann invites Michael Moore to record a CD for his new label Between the Lines. For this occasion Moore assembles a new trio with cellist Tristan Honsinger and pianist Cor Fuhler. After Monitor they record a second album for the same label: Air Street (2002).


The Amsterdam based Portuguese singer-composer Fernando Lameirinhas likes to surround himself with musicians from the world of improvisation, for his own take on world music. The album O Destino features Michael Moore as one of his guests. It is the beginning of a fertile collaboration which will yield two more CDs. Another collaboration Moore enters into in this year is with pianist Achim Kaufmann. He becomes a member of the latter's quartet (which records two CDs) and he also performs in other combinations with the German. At the North Sea Jazz Festival Michael Moore receives the prestigious Bird Award.


Under the name Jewels and Binoculars Moore starts a new trio, with bassist Lindsay Horner and Michael Vatcher. The idea is to take the music of Bob Dylan as a starting point for improvisations. The successful eponymous debut CD is followed by a second one: Floater (2004).


In order to play 'real' jazz as well as improvised music Michael Moore forms a new quintet, with trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, pianist Marc van Roon, drummer Owen Hart Jr. and bassist Paul Berner. The latter also includes the reed player in his own band, further consisting of the guitarists Peter Tiehuis and Ed Verhoeff. The musical challenge for the quartet is a mixture of jazz and Americana. In 2006 the group records the CD Back Porch.


Two Amsterdam based Argentines, guitarist Guillermo Celano and drummer Marcos Baggiani, include Michael Moore as the second horn player in their group (the other being tenor saxophonist Gorka Benitez). In this line-up the outfit records two CDs: Nothing Changes (2008) and Alienology (2011).

2008 - 2011

Fragile is the title of a new Michael Moore CD which takes the beauty and fragility of human relationships as its theme. In addition to his regular drum partner Michael Vatcher the line-up features two talented young musicians: pianist Harmen Fraanje and bassist Clemens van der Feen. With the CD title as the name of the group the quartet goes on tour to perform their chamber jazz on Dutch stages. A second tour is planned for 2011.

Discography Michael Moore

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

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