Joel Moore Quartet
Gig Seeker Pro

Joel Moore Quartet

Plainfield, Illinois, United States

Plainfield, Illinois, United States
Band Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Review"

The Joel Moore Quartet explore lengthy jazz compositions comprising Moore’s glistening, husky tenor saxophone, plinking keyboards, and subdued drumming. Coiled together, each instrument is allowed its respective space, without disrupting the essential blending of tones and textures. The rhythmic foundation is perhaps the most interesting, as the light percussion and pliant basslines prove to be nimble and melodic (”Hat Trick,” “November”). ([2]
– Patrick Conlan - Illinois Entertainer

"Virtuoso Ensemble"

Review: On the self produced CD Quartet, Chicago based tenor saxophonist Joel Moore has assembled a virtuoso ensemble to perform six original tunes, either penned by himself or in collaboration with pianist Jakub Rojek. The recording is an example of driving straight-ahead jazz that showcases not only Moore’s talent as a composer and arranger, but also talented musicians working together like a well-oiled machine, in creating some exciting modern jazz.

The opening cut “Fireside,” brings to this listener’s ear a sound similar to recordings made in the 1970’s (Stan Getz’s Captain Marvel album comes to mind) perhaps due to Rojek’s use of a Fender Rhodes sound for his keyboard. Moore’s saxophone sound, however, is nothing like Getz’s. He plays with a John Coltrane inspired sound that is throaty and aggressive. Moore’s further homage to Coltrane may be heard on the final cut on the CD, “Chasing the Trane” which is Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” with a new head penned by Moore. While Moore is not John Coltrane, he none-the-less possesses monster jazz chops and tosses to the listener, many innovative ideas while improvising over the challenging chord changes of the tune.

The pieces, “Longing” and “November” showcase Moore’s melodicism; a tasteful vibrato and expressive musicianship. The third cut on the CD, “Hat Trick” begins with a funky groove with a head that is filled with angular twists and turns. When Moore’s solo begins, however, the combo shifts into a hard swinging groove that provides a perfect foundation for soloing. The work of the other members of the quartet, Paul Townsend on drums and Bob Ferraris on bass, also deserve mention as they play their supportive role and solo with exquisite timing and tastefulness.

For jazz aficionados who enjoy well played, excellently recorded, creatively nuanced and performed music, Quartet by the Joel Moore Quartet will certainly be a welcome addition to any jazz CD collection.

Published on July 8, 2008
- , Craig W. Hurst

"Top 10 Jazz CD's of 2006"

The debut recording of the Joel Moore Quartet is included on's Top 10 Recordings of 2006. Also included on this list are releases from Patricia Barber, Nnenna Freelon, John Moulder and David Binney.

(orginally published on January 1, 2007). -

"Live @ Andy's Jazz Club (5/17/07)"

Great to be back at Andy's and hearing good music again - maybe spring has really come, with summer shortly to follow. Meanwhile, I have to wonder what is in the water out there in the western burbs as I keep hearing great music coming from the musicians that live out there. Tonight's band - the Joel Moore Quartet is no exception and I heartily recommend that people get out to see these guys live.

Bandleader Joel Moore has a big brawny tenor sound, but he can play it soft and gentle on the ballads as well. He is obviously well-schooled in the Coltrane sound, but smooths it out when needed. Bassist Bob Ferraris is a total powerhouse, and he combines with active drummer Paul Townsend to provide a solid and stimulating undercurrent. New keyboardist Paul Scherer is less quirky than the departed Jakob Rojek, but he shows a nice touch on the keys whether complementing or on solos.

The Joel Moore Quartet's self-titled debut album was one of our top-10 releases of 2006 (click here for our review) and it was a true pleasure to hear songs off the recording played live. Songs like "Fireside" and "November" sounded wonderful and the band played them with gusto and confidence. They also threw in some choice covers - such as Coltrane's "Moments Notice."

The last set offered a surprise in that singer Agnieszka Iwanza took the stage with the band to perform several of her original songs. Like Basia, Iwanza is a Polish singer who has taken on the Brazilian sound pioneered by Astrud Gilberto. She sang her well-written songs showing considerable ability, and charmed the crowd with her fresh and honest approach.

A great evening was had by all, sparked by the lively music provided by the Joel Moore Quartet. Andy's is also to be commended for helping keep jazz alive in the city of Chicago. -

"Joel Moore Quartet"

This evening, the live jazz entertainment was provided by the Joel Moore Quartet. Chicago native Joel is a highly talented and versatile tenor saxophonist specializing in both jazz and rhythm & blues. The quartet features Joel Moore (saxophone), Paul Scherer (keyboards), Michael Barton (bass), and Paul Townsend (drums). The show started with Pat Metheny's Folk Song, which was followed by an original composition of Joel's named Fireside, featuring sophisticated bass and drum solos. Cole Porter's standard What is This Thing Called Love? showcased Joel's fine sax playing, as did the classic Body and Soul. Joe Henderson's Recorda Me brought the first half of the evening's entertainment to a close with good work from the two Pauls on keyboard and drums. The second set commenced with Nothing Personal featuring great solos from all the band, as did Miles Davis' boppish Half Nelson. The tempo decreased for a beautiful version of John Coltrane's Naima, again highlighting Joel's superb saxophone playing. Another Pat Metheny composition Song for Bilbao, was followed by the final tune of the evening in the shape of a rousing version of John Coltrane's classic Giant Steps, which showed what a talented saxophonist Joel is. - Brookfield Jazz Society

"This is contemporary jazz as it should be played!"

Innovative, original, powerful, energetic. If these are things you look for in a great jazz CD, then look no further, The Joel Moore Quartet is all that and more. Their debut self titled CD, which was captured live-in studio, is turning lots of heads, and with good reason. So close your eyes and imagine yourself in an old, intimate jazz club and you’d swear you were at a live show.
The Joel Moore Quartet plays like they have been together for an eternity, but were only founded in 2005!. The band is comprised of Joel Moore on tenor saxophone, Bob Ferraris on double bass, Jakub Rojek on keyboards, and Paul Townsend on drums. This is Contemporary jazz as it should be played, raw with an obvious passion that will leave you breathless, and an intensity that will have you trying to catch your breath.

“Fireside” opens up with Moore’s terrific sax chops and bassist Ferraris feverishly strumming away. Townsend’s drumming and Rojek’s keys really shine with each giving a delectable solo, sweet candy for the ears. Moore ties everything together with his tenor sax. “Hindsight” starts off soft and sexy but soon builds to an energetic rhythmic pace with Moore and Rojek’s instruments melodiously playing off one another. Ferraris has a great bass solo and Townsend keeps the groove going with some fine drumming. This is a definite standout composition! “Hat Trick” is another musical triumph as Townsend, Rojek and Ferraris face-off perfectly with Moore on this fast paced, upbeat number. Ferraris offers yet another standout bass solo. This original CD delivers an old style jazz feel but at the same time is new and fresh, and being played at its absolute finest.

Time to catch your breath as “Longing” takes the energy level down but not out. Moore’s sax is spellbinding with its’ brooding, haunting tones that drips with sensuality. These seven minutes of brilliance is reminiscent of the kind of music one might hear in the old film noir movies of the 40’s. “November,” which is composed by Moore and Rojek (all others are composed by Moore,) is ultra cool and innovative. Superb keyboarding, bass and drums all seamlessly connect with Moore’s lively sax on this exceptionally performed number. “Catchin The Trane” starts out with a soaring energy level that is truly palpable. Moore lets loose on tenor sax with a white-hot ferocity while Ferraris keeps the pace with some wicked bass playing. These guys are all on fire here creating a mind-blowing finish for an amazing debut CD.

The Joel Moore Quartet is exceptional contemporary jazz with high energy, crazy riffs and cool vibes. And since this CD was recorded live-in studio, it captures that energy of being at a live show, giving one a true feel for the zest and passion each one of these guys bring to their music.

(Originally published on Feb. 12, 2007 by Susan Lozniak).


"Joel Moore Quartet~Bravo!"

Review by Brad Walseth

Who says there is no future for jazz music? With such young innovators as David Binney, Shawn Maxwell, Chris Washburne and Bob Reynolds, among others, out there I must heartily disagree. Now coming in at the eleventh hour of 2006, is the debut release by the Joel Moore Quartet that again proves that there are exciting young jazz musicians who intend on taking jazz music into the future. And I must say that based on the results, jazz seems to be in good hands.

The Joel Moore Quartet consists of tenor saxophonist Joel Moore, along with keyboardist Jakub Rojek (late of Shawn Maxwell's Quartet), double-bassist Bob Ferraris and drummer Paul Townsend. All are talented players who aggressively yet sensitively attack the music with obvious relish on this "live-in-the-studio" recording. On the opener, "Fireside," Townsend's relentless drumming, Ferraris' mysterious bowed bass and Rojek's Rhodes open up before Moore comes in with a strirring melody and you immediately know these guys mean business. Rojek's playing meshes intimately with the sound of Moore's tenor, while the interplay between Ferraris and Townsend is uncanny. The solos by all the players are satisfying and surprising in the directions taken.

"Hindsight" - another Moore original (as are all the compositions are on this recording - "November" being a Moore/Rojek collaboration) is a sultry, sexy stroll with impressive work by Moore (fire) and Rojek (ice - on acoustic piano) over a bubbling rhythm section groove. In hindsight, Ferrasis 'solo is also a highlight - proving bass solos don't always have to be a train wreck (in Duke Elington's words) that stops the forward propulsion of the musical flow. If it weren't 9 minutes long - and if contemporary jazz radio wasn't so bland - this would be a hit. "Hat Trick" follows and presents a killer melodic theme before moving into a charging walking bass middle section graced by Moore's early Coltrane-inspired riffing, Rojek's skittering piano, Ferrasis again on a nice bass spot, and finally Townsend's tastefully gracious solo. This is old school - music inspired by the best of bop, yet not slavishly devoted to the past. To mix paraphrases: Joel Moore and company are standing on the shoulders of giants, but they are looking at the stars.

"Longing" follows and cranks it down a notch, but the musical ripples - especially Moore's sax forays - are pure romantic moonlight. "November" uses inventive changes and strong melodic hooks to provide the format for substantive solos and energetic group playing. These guys sound like they've been playing together for years they are so keyed into each other's vibe. But it is "Catchin' the Trane" - a burning track based on "Giant Steps" that ends the CD that really opens ones eyes - leaving a huge smile on the face of the listener. One of the best things about reviewing music is the discovery of new artists with potential - and Joel Moore and his quartet certainly have a great deal of that. This is exciting music that references the past with reverence, while updating it to our present day. Bravo!



The Joel Moore Quartet recorded live-in-studio 2006.



Founded in late 2005, the members of the Joel Moore Quartet create a dynamic and highly interactive repertoire of original, contemporary jazz. Their debut recording highlights its emotionally charged style, fearless group interaction and daring improvisation. The quartet masterfully blend the influences of Pat Metheny, Yellowjackets, Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Rick Margitza and Chick Corea into a visceral, crossover style appealing to a wide demographic of listeners.

Tenor saxophonist and Chicago native Joel Moore specializes in both jazz and rhythm & blues. He received an M.M. in Jazz Pedagogy from the Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory in 2000. While living in Boston, he studied with Jeff Harrington, Bill Pierce and Ed Tomassi and interacted with renowned saxophonists Rick Margitza and Bob Berg during their respective clinics and performances. Joel also performed at the House of Blues and Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA and toured throughout New England with a variety of ensembles.

Prior to Berklee, Joel lived in Louisiana and began graduate studies at the University of New Orleans. During this time he studied and performed with Ed Petersen, Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mark Whitfield and Victor Goines. He also performed regularly in the legendary French Quarter with a variety of jazz and R&B bands including a year-long stint as saxophonist during the weekly Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues.

From 1992-1996, Joel studied at Western Illinois University and earned a B.S. in Media Communications. During this time he juggled academics and music as a member of the Jazz Studio Orchestra directed by the late Dale Hopper. With JSO, Joel performed along side guest artists Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, Tim Hagans and Jim Snidero. He also toured throughout the United States and Europe and recorded The Third Degree (Sea breeze Records) in Nashville with acclaimed jazz trombonist John Fedchock. The compact disc The Third Degree received four stars in Downbeat Magazine.

Since moving back to the Chicago area in 2000, Joel has performed extensively at many of Chicago’s live-music venues including Andy's Jazz Club, Pete Miller's,Buddy Guy’s Legends, Green Dolphin Street, Green Mill, Underground Wonder Bar, The Note and Elbo Room. He has recorded and performed with Orbert Davis, Paul Wertico and recently opened for the Yellowjackets during the 2008 Naperville Jazz Festival. He currently resides in Plainfield with his wife, Amy, and is on the faculty of Benedictine University, Lewis University and Prairie State College. Joel recently toured with the Dr. Willie Wilson Gospel Orchestra which contributed humanitarian aid and performed for Hurricane Katrina victims in the Gulf region.

Bob Ferraris:

With over 40 years of experience on acoustic and electric bass, Bob Ferraris consistantly demonstrates uncommon versatility and musical energy. A native of Joliet, IL, Bob began his musical journey initially on alto saxophone before switching to bass. Since then he has studied with Ted Sparks (Stan Kenton Orchestra), Harold Siegal (Chicago Symphony Orchestra and NBC radio and television), Warren Benfield (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Brad Opland (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and Joe Guastafeste, Priniciple of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Begining in 1985, Bob was selected to co-principle the bass section in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and held the position for four years. Previously, he worked as a staff musician for Disneyland and performed with Clark Terry and other notable jazz artists.

Currently, Bob is a busy freelance musician and performs and records frequently with a vast array of ensembles including the Rockford Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony and the New Philharmonic, ensemble in residence at McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage.

Paul Scherer:

An accomplished keyboard player, composer and arranger. He has written jingles and TV themes, and has released three commercial jazz CDs. Classically trained at Indiana University, Paul studied music theory and composition with Alan Winold and Mary Wennerstrom and has written many classical, pop and jazz vocal and instrumental compositions. Paul is an active performer, fronting his own band and backing up a number of performers and ensembles including Bobby Rydell, Gordon MacRae, Rita Moreno and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

Paul’s first release on World Disc, Nitemusik, was a critical and commercial success, selling close to 10,000 units. Released in 1991, Nitemusik is a tour de force blending of classical structure, jazz improvisation and New Age ambience. The result is an immanently accessible and satisfying listening experience. Paul’s latest release, Cosmik Kiss, is a further step in his range of musical expression. writes:

This tasteful album of Jazz piano originals is the third release by composer, keyboardist Paul Scherer. The album is a blend of styles from