A Guy’s Guide to Culture: Moe Seager – Moe better Blues
Before we go any further, I’m going to confess that Moe Seager is a good friend of mine, so this article is totally biased. If you want an objective look at the splendor that is Moe, you’re SOL because everyone that attends a Moe Seager show walks away feeling like they’ve made a new friend.
After several decades in the Paris, Moe is more than a fixture of the jazz scene; he is one of its main architects as he’s helped shape it with his style, his generosity and his talent. A skilled singer in styles ranging from jazz to blues, from scat to crooning, he can adopt someone else’s words or create his own inimitable songs anchored deep in the groove carved by his personal poetry.
The show I caught him at took place in the evening of October 12 at ‘Ma Cave Fleury’, an organic wine bar on the rue Saint-Denis.
19:45 I arrive fifteen minutes late for a concert that hasn’t started yet and meet the band. I already know Moe but he introduces me to percussionist/trumpeter Rasul Siddik and Chris Cody, the best Australian jazz pianist I’ve ever met. That he’s the only one isn’t his fault and doesn’t detract from his talent.
19:50 Bossa nova intro. I know Moe so I already admire him but Rasul…man, Rasul. Rasul Siddik is what Miles Davis meant when he wrote ‘Birth of Cool’.
19:53 I love jazz I can find the front door to.
19:54 Rasul plays the notebook and I’m not even a little kidding.
19:55 Tonight’s show will include New York blues, East Coast poetry, New Orleans jazz and Atlanta for Ray. Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to fly.
20:02 See Moe scat! Scat, Moe, scat!
20:13 Ad-libbed poetry from the art.
20:23 Some Stan Getz because Moe Getz it.
20:33 Peter Gunn Theme transfused with poetry. I know it’s poetry because it sounds better than what I write.
20:36 There’s a Miro innocence and Picasso childishness about jazz where the spontaneity feels like angels playing Make Believe.
21:27 Rasul plays that one jazz instrument that looks like an ‘s’ with a horn attached at the end; not the straight one, and not a trombone. Stop me if I get too technical—maybe just stop me anyway.
21:35 OMG, great version of ‘It Was a Very Good Year’. There is so much soul spilling out of this song that poseurs are spontaneously combusting.
21:45 Moe asks white people in a wine bar to clap along in rhythm. He’s such a kidder.
21:53 ‘Look at me, I’m as happy as a bee’ song trumpet solo was transcendental. I closed my eyes and was transported to the real Paris.
22:12 The encore is like controlled falling or jumping off a cliff for joy and never landing.
22:21 A member of the crowd starts singing backup out of the blues.
22:23 Another guy in the audience picked up the brushes and started playing a manila envelope. It’s jazz pandemonium, people! Moe’s style is so infectious, even the Parisians are catching it.Image credits: All photographs ©Paul Prescott.