New Orleans drummer and bandleader Stanton Moore leads a red-hot soul-jazz organ trio with keyboardist Robert Walter and guitarist Will Bernard. The music is cut from the same cloth as Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Charlie Hunter (with whom both Moore and Bernard have collaborated), but with a strong Nawlins funk groove and unabashed edginess.
Behind the kit, Moore is a meat-and- potatoes player—or maybe that should be a beans-and-rice kind of guy—as this Galactic alumnus opts for solid, in-the- pocket funk beats over flash. Walter, a founding member of the Greyboy Allstars, honed his craft playing and recording with Fred Wesley and underrated soul- jazz organ great Reuben Wilson, among others. Here, he handles Hammond B-3 organ (including bass pedals) and piano. Bernard is a veteran of the 1980s avant- jazz powerhouse Peter Apfelbaum’s Hieroglyphics Ensemble, T.J. Kirk, and Jai Uttal’s band. He has four solo discs to his credit, and can serve up guitar licks smokin’ hot or cool ’n’ clean, ala Grant Green.
Although it closes with a pair of chill- out ballads, Groove Alchemy is mostly party central—hard-bitten funk, with a measure of Meters, a splash of Parliament, and a pinch of Professor Longhair: good and groovy.