Eddie Moore’s rhythmically complex and lyrically sophisticated record Intuition has redefined the boundaries of the jazz fusion genre.
Intuition is an elegant and explorative record that delves into Moore’s passion for combining diverse sounds of different genres, whether it’s the smooth melodic flow of contemporary jazz or the energetic rhythms found in R&B and hip-hop. This record features the best of what these music styles have to offer, from the jazzy piano melodies in “Skate Park Days,” to the immersive production and romantic guitar lead in “A New Me, A New You.” It was mixed by Rick Carson and mastered by Crayge Lindesay.
Moore began his musical career in his home town of Houston, Texas, where he honed his craft and immersed himself in the local music scene. While learning the intricacies of jazz music amongst fellow impassioned jazz lovers in Texas, the pianist has now found himself in Kansas City, where he has become an integral part of the musical community teaching and playing his music.
Over the course of his career, he has shared the stage and recorded with musical legends like Boys II Men and John Baptiste, and found commercial success with tracks being featured on shows like Bel-Air, Queer Eye, and more. He has defined his musical style by his creative integration of traditional jazz techniques with modern production and instrumentation.
We got to chat with Moore about his latest record and much more.
So how has the year treated you so far? You do anything fun for Halloween?
My year has been pretty exciting. I teach college, so this year I feel like this next generation of musicians has a fire to go and get it! For Halloween we went to an 80’s party, which was pretty cool. Took some crazy retro pics.
What does a day in the life of Eddie Moore’s music-making process look like?
A day in the life for me is chill. I am a studio owner, so I pull up to Stu around 11 AM if I don’t have a session earlier. I start with coffee from our local spot Mildreds around the corner.
I tend to start with business things and get social media out the way first, listen to music and just catch the vibe. Everyday isn’t a writing day. Some days I just like to sit at the piano and work out concepts and technique. If it is a creative day, I usually start at the piano or synth in the live room. A fair amount of my sketches are made at my looping rig with keys and Ableton. I think about a tempo and just start to have fun and experiment with layers and textures. If I need a break, our location is perfect because we are surrounded by street art, so I usually just strap on the blades and go for a stroll. Like I said, pretty chill haha.
Let’s talk about your new album, Intuition. Are there any overarching themes or motifs behind this collection of songs?
I felt it was time for a solo record for me. I am coming from mostly leading groups, like We The People, or my first group Eddie Moore & the Outer Circle. This project, I had the opportunity to sit back and really take my time to materialize the vision and follow my gut. In that case, this record is a personal statement, sharing life stories and time shared with close friends. Like “Skatepark Days” for instance. I grew up rollerblading in Houston heavily, and in the last three years picked it back up.
Being in Kansas City we are lucky to be able to skate several different parks. While they are all different, the vibe at a park is always similar. The diversity they embody; several different age groups are there to have fun, supporting, challenging themselves. When you watch a person try a trick twenty or thirty times and they finally land it, we all celebrate. This piece embodies that vibe, and different moods.
With a song like “Jazz Mercenaries,” it speaks to the unique experience of being a jazz pianist for hire, while also being an “artist” trying to find your way. I started in that realm back in 2009, and it is definitely its own ecosystem.
While the theme for “Don’t Get Wrapped Up” is simply about making your way through the harmony, and not trippin’. I guess on a deeper level not getting wrapped up in the BS. The bassist Jason Emmond did a great job of that, and ate that song up!
I see you did much or all of the instrumentation, production, and engineering yourself. Does wearing that many hats come naturally for you, or is it a steep challenge?
On this one, wearing several hats came very naturally. When you are the kind of person that doesn’t like to depend on others, things just tend to go that way. In quarantine, I was able to focus and really grow as a producer and songwriter. I also love collaboration, so when I felt I couldn’t elevate the music anymore, I didn’t hesitate to reach out to my amazing network of creators.
I revamped the studio space to better suit the needs of the “instrumental producer” and be flexible to the creative process. So everything was recorded here at “Tribe” and most of the time engineering from the piano or playing synth bass with the drummer. We laugh and joke that the bass player on the record is the real MVP haha.
How do you know when intricate songs like yours are finished? Do you find yourself wanting to keep tinkering and re-recording tracks etc.?
I am naturally an immersive writer, where in this realm it’s about the small intricacies. The number one rule in the studio is “Don’t overthink things.” If I find myself in that space, I immediately get up and take a break. That’s when I know, “Yo we doing too much.”
What made you choose “Skate Park Days” and “Stable Light” as bookends for the record?
Hmmm, that’s a good one. I really like the way “Skatepark Days” opens and the different moods of the piece. It stays true to my “through composed” writing style, while uniquely different from all my previous compositions. I wanted to take the listener on a trip out the gate! With “Stable Light”, I wanted a heater at the end. I believe it is the only Rhodes solo on the record and made the best conclusion. I have deep roots in Rhodes and piano so it made sense as a closer.
What has been your favorite/the most rewarding part of making this album?
My favorite part of making this album was probably just the ability to experiment, and collaborate without outside opinions. Really digging deep into how we wanted each song to sound, feel, and move. The most rewarding thing is realizing that taking chances is OK. In fact, it can actually elevate your creativity. This is my first album to fully produce, and definitely to engineer. It’s a different sound and space for me as an artist, and it’s actually cool to be different.
What messages or feelings do you typically try to convey in your music?
The message in my music is usually about perseverance and positivity. I try to take the listener to a different place so they forget about their issues, or relate with mine, therefore the music helps persevere.
What are one or two pinnacle moments for you as an artist?
One of the most pinnacle moments for me as an artist was definitely getting a placement in the Fresh Prince revamp “Bel-Air”. Having my own part of Black Excellence. The second, which happened very early in my career, was opening for Erykah Badu/Robert Glasper with our group Neon Collars. I was fresh out of college and that experience showed me sticking to your guns as an artist will take you where you want to go!
What are some of your goals – whether musically or otherwise – for the rest of the year and into 2023?
Some of my goals for the year and into 2023 are to make our space here in KC a place where the most creative want to showcase and write their music. Build a community where we can strive and educate indie artists. I also plan to tour and bring this music to different people around the world in 2023, so keep an eye out for me in your city!