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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    I wonder if there are any other Oscar Moore fans out there?

    No i'm not referring to the novelist, but the jazz guitarist. He played with the King Cole Trio for many years and had a fairly unsuccessful solo career.

    I just wonder why he's so forgotten in the jazz history? Is he too similar to Charlie Christian? To my ears this player is an absolutely crucial one in the development of jazz guitar.

    DR

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I think you have to be aware of someone before you can ignore them. I was never aware of him. Thanks for the link.

  4. #3
    thanks for the information.Nat plays quite well too.
    Last edited by 604bourne123; 01-29-2010 at 02:31 AM.

  5. #4

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    I'm also a big Oscar Moore fan. I have recordings of the King Cole trio with both Oscaar and Irv Ashby. In my opinion, Oscar Moore is the better player.

  6. #5
    you have a point,Nat sings the tune very well and does some harmony licks, Oscar plays leads.

  7. #6
    Thanks Hot Ford. I don't think i've heard the ones with Irv Ashby. A quick google search tells me he joined the group after 1947 so i presume everything nat recorded after that with a guitar was with Irv...? I'll dig around my collection and try to see if i've got anything, would love to compare the two as you obviously have. Thanks again,

    DR

  8. #7

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    I had to join the forum just to reply to this! I think Oscar Moore is a wonderful guitarist, so subtle and with beautiful phrasing. He works so well in the trio.

  9. #8

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    He was truely one of the greats
    I used to take mandolin lessons from Jethro Burns, and he said that when he was room mates with Chet Atkins after WWII, they spent many hours listening to King Cole Trio records and trying to figure out Oscar's solos.
    I think that he quit music and became a brick layer.

  10. #9

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    Oscar Moore:



    DG

  11. #10
    Thanks for all the comments. Daveg thanks for that link! Some of Oscar's quintissential playing! I loved his really old skool valve distortion tone that you get on a recording like that too.

    GPS, welcome to the forum! Glad this topic got you interested, sounds like there are a few fans of Oscar here which is great to hear.

    JohnRosett, thanks for the info, i love hearing stories like that! Except for the news that he became a bricklayer later in life. Nothing wrong with being a bricklayer but when you are such a dark horse of jazz guitar like Oscar was it's terribly sad that he couldn't make a long term career in music like he obviously deserved to.

  12. #11
    He was a welder before the world let him in,being jazz was a virgen art form.Art has always paid the gifted when they pass on.

  13. #12

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    I've known about Oscar Moore for a long time. I think he falls in Charlie Christian's shadow much the way Oscar Aleman falls in Django's. It should be noted that before he became a successful crooner, I'm pretty sure Nat "King" Cole was a poll winner in Downbeat's readers poll as a pianist. I don't think they had a guitar category back then, so hard to say where Oscar Moore would have been. There weren't a lot of soloing guitarists in the early 40s, Eddie Lang was gone, Barney Kessel hadn't really arrived, and I don't know how much Django was heard in the US. The guitar was still pretty much a rhythm instrument. Anyhow, here's a pretty good example of the King Cole Trio as instrumentalists:

    Brad

  14. #13

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    Wow! Thanks for posting those vids. I hadn't seen them.

  15. #14

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    The guitar, by the way, appears to be a full bodied L5 with a CC Pickup (as opposed to an ES250).

    DG

  16. #15

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    I love Oscar Moore. Great player, very underrated and it is unfortunate. He is on my list of favorite players.

    Another underrated NKCole alumni is John Collins who was with Cole from 1951 to 1965. He is certainly one of the great rhythm players. I think he never took a solo as a Cole sideman, but he is quite inventive as a soloist nonetheless. If you have a chance, listen to his album "The Incredible John Collins", 1984.

  17. #16
    to" Sometimes I'am happy" with Collins comping and Nat King Cole singing and playing piano quite a different musical background.

  18. #17

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    Oscar was a beautiful player and very influential in his day even if he's little remembered today. I love his velvet sound with chords and his ability with slides and slurs and chord subs that made the music he played with Cole so sublime. His few solo records are good too.

  19. #18
    Nats voice and his tonal harmonies paved the way.

  20. #19

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    I don't know why Oscar Moore should fall in the shadow of Christian - they had completely different approaches to the guitar, and different sounds, too. Moore was doing a lot more with the harmony - maybe a more piano-like concept than CC, who sounded like a horn player to me. Love them both. I think Burrell was listening to Moore, Christian, Jimmy Raney, T-Bone and Lester Young. What company . . .

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveg
    The guitar, by the way, appears to be a full bodied L5 with a CC Pickup (as opposed to an ES250).

    DG

    headstock and tailpiece look like a super 400 to me.

  22. #21

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    Oscar Moore was a wonderful player. One of my favorites.

    Aside from the one solo album, there are some excellent King Cole Trio instrumental CDs available that show him making the transition from acoustic to electric. Also worth hearing is his later work with brother Johnny Moore's Three Blazers with Charles Brown on vocals.

    Johnny Moore was a good "uptown blues" guitarist but not as sophisicated as Oscar.

    By the way, the photo shown during Oscar's guitar solo on "What Is This Thing Called Love?" is not Oscar. It's Irving Ashby with his Stromberg guitar. The opening and closing trio shot is OM with what may be an ES-250.

    Regards,
    monk

    EDIT: The guitar in DaveG's video with the flowerpot headstock definitely looks like an L-5. I've never seen an ES-250 with a headstock that fancy. Apologies for my previously misinformed last sentence.
    Last edited by monk; 02-12-2011 at 07:01 PM.

  23. #22

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    Keep posting these names. Many of us have simply never heard of these players because we are still trying to learning so much that we need to catch up on from even the legendary players. Just the other day, for example, I learned of an album by old Wes called "Far Wes" that I hadn't even heard about. Now, I am stunned and overwhelmed by that one. There is a always a tremendous amount to listen to and, if you want to really LISTEN without distraction, it takes time.

  24. #23

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    BTW - I just looked up Oscar Moore on a Downbeat Poll Index. He was the Poll winner for guitar four years running: 1945, '46, '47, '48.

  25. #24

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    I had never of him, but really like what I'm hearing. Thanks for sharing!

  26. #25
    Love Oscar Moore and the King Cole Trio. His playing was very swinging and his chords were very advanced. Many players, notably Kenny Burrell, profess they were very drawn to his chord voicings and style. Good to see a shout going out to this now lesser known giant of jazz guitar (As the downbeat polls indicate above, he was very much known in mid 40's just before the onslaught of legends to follow).

    Cool vid of the Trio


    Easy to also see why Nat was one of the leading pianist of his day.

  27. #26

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    Oscar Moore was an amazing musician. The Nat King Cole's arrangements were hand down the best in the small-combo setting. There is a band in Boise, Idaho of all places, that plays and studies these arrangements, and even composes in the style of the NK3. Enjoy this link clip of them!

    The Frim Fram Four - Don't Scratch That Riff, Cat!
    Last edited by swingitjack; 02-12-2011 at 03:26 PM.

  28. #27

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    I liked Oscar's work with the Nat Cole Trio. (I loved that trio--no drums! I'm not against drums, mind you, but a trio that can swing without a drummer--Oscar Peterson's trio with Herb Ellis was even more impressive--does a lot for me.) I really liked the way they did "Frim Fram Sauce" and "Sweet Lorraine." And of course, "Straighten Up And Fly Right."

  29. #28

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    Here's a live performance of "Route 66," complete with bongo player! Oscar plays a lot tasty stuff that's not shown, though you can see him take his solo.


  30. #29

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    Thanks for posting all of these clips. They are all available on recordings and DVD, I recommend buying them!

  31. #30

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    I'm a fan!

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by markerhodes
    I liked Oscar's work with the Nat Cole Trio. (I loved that trio--no drums! I'm not against drums, mind you, but a trio that can swing without a drummer--Oscar Peterson's trio with Herb Ellis was even more impressive--does a lot for me.)
    So true. The gypsy jazzers have kept this alive -- propelling a combo with the rhythmic guitar. It's a great way to play.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stackabones
    So true. The gypsy jazzers have kept this alive -- propelling a combo with the rhythmic guitar. It's a great way to play.
    Yeah, I love that stuff. Some bluegrass works this way too. (Not jazz, I know, but some of that stuff's a hoot, and some of those "flatpickin' hicks" can fly!)

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by markerhodes
    Here's a live performance of "Route 66," complete with bongo player! Oscar plays a lot tasty stuff that's not shown, though you can see him take his solo.

    This isn't Oscar Moore, this is Irving Ashby playing a Stromberg guitar.
    Last edited by monk; 02-12-2011 at 07:04 PM.

  34. #33

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    Oops, my bad! Sorry about that gaffe. Monk, thanks for pointing it out.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by markerhodes
    Yeah, I love that stuff. Some bluegrass works this way too. (Not jazz, I know, but some of that stuff's a hoot, and some of those "flatpickin' hicks" can fly!)
    I don't listen to too much bluegrass, though I love David Grisman's Dawg music (and some he's done with Jerry Garcia and also with Frank Vignola), but I totally dig the way they approach tunes and performance. It's really enjoyable music to hear live.

    Yeah, ya gotta watch out for some of those flatpickers. They'll peel the frets right off the fretboard.

  36. #35

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    Oscar Moore was with the King Cole Trio from 1937 to 1947. Playing acoustic archtop guitar, Moore quickly became well known for his skill between 1937 and 1939. He was somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of Charlie Christian in 1939. Upon Christian's death in 1942, Moore's popularity rose again, this time as an electric guitarist.

    Most of the arrangements for the group were done by Moore. Originally a co-op, the money was split equally and when Moore left the group he was reportedly making $57,000 a year.

    His decision to leave was not because of the pop material the Trio was recording as is sometimes reported but because Cole caved in to record company demands to place Moore and bassist Johnny Miller on "sideman salaries". Moore and Miller sued Cole for breach of promise in 1947. but lost. Moore played in his brother's R&B group Johnny Moore and the Three Blazers from 1947 to 1954.
    Last edited by monk; 02-12-2011 at 10:41 PM.

  37. #36

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    Wow! I never knew anybody transcribed Moore's solos. Bigsby, is that the title of the booklet? I'd love to get my hands on a copy. Oscar Moore is one of my idols...

  38. #37

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    I also have a copy of the Oscar Moore Guitar Solos.

    The publisher bracketed Oscar's solo with the melody of Cole's piano intro and vocal accompaniment to create an "expanded" arrangement. So Oscar's true solo is imbedded in the middle.

    Since this was published in 1947 when most guitarists were musically literate, there is only standard notation.

    This isn't the only Oscar Moore folio that was published. There was a second titled Oscar Moore Guitaristics that I've only seen a picture of but would love to find a copy.

    Here's a pdf of the cover:

  39. #38

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    Way cool, I didn't know about the second one. Two songs ( Easy Listening Blues & Gee, Baby... )from the first one are also included in the Mel Bay book Masters Of The Plectrum Guitar.

  40. #39

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    Hi all,

    I wonder if there are any other Oscar Moore fans out there?

    No i'm not referring to the novelist, but the jazz guitarist. He played with the King Cole Trio for many years and had a fairly unsuccessful solo career. Check out this playing on 'moonlight in vermont':

    Yes there are and thanks for the message.

  41. #40

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    I too have always loved Moore's playing. Nat's piano playing was truly amazing as well.

  42. #41

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    I'm a huge fan of Oscar Moore. But, to me, among the most influential jazz guitarists who receive the least amount of recognition is Johnny Smith. Sure, he is mentioned, but this guy established the chord melody style. He's in my desert island discs, for sure.

  43. #42

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    Yes, Johnny Smith, Van Eps and Reuss. And let's not forget Al Casey (not the rockabilly guy, the one with Fats Waller).

  44. #43

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    Moore is one of my favorite guitarists of all time ! You can recognize his sound after just a few notes, and I love the slide effect he often uses, a bit less "noisy" than Les Paul's one for example (very good too by the way).

    Johnny Smith is in my top 5 for sure ! I cried when I first listened to him, his touch and tone are inimitable.

    Thanks for the Alan Reuss, I don't know the guy so I'll check this.

  45. #44

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    Monk,

    Thanks for the tunes! I knew that Reuss and Van Eps had a sophisticated harmonic style, but I've had trouble finding recordings that really showed it. Reuss is usually in the background of a big band and older Van Eps is hard to find. I have the 12 disc Johnny Smith Riverside Collection, if you want to trade some tunes. I also have the Tal Farlow collection. I believe that both are out of print. Speaking of trading tune, I have the complete Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti on Okeh. I think I'm missing some of their duo recordings though. I could also always use some more early Cole. If any of y'all want to trade some tunes, just let me know.
    Last edited by oldsouth; 03-04-2011 at 12:32 PM.

  46. #45

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    Another too often overlook guitarist was the guy who played with the Mills Brothers - I can't remember his name. His intros were very charismatic. I think he did a nice box chord solo on Up a Lazy River, but that may be a later version I'm thinking of.

  47. #46

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    PS,

    Y'all may have noticed that I am both dyslexic and I spell everything phonetically - sorry for any confusion - spell check catches most of my mistakes, but not all.

  48. #47

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    Woooa, Allan Reuss rocks ! Thanks for the discovery !

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by guelda
    Woooa, Allan Reuss rocks ! Thanks for the discovery !
    He doesn't rock, he swings!

  50. #49

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    Prior to being in the Nat Cole Trio he was Guitarist for the Jones Boys Sing Band. I just uploaded a few recordings of them with him on them. There is also a video of him with that group:
    Last edited by AustinCaseySwing; 07-16-2012 at 05:45 AM. Reason: added detail

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinCaseySwing
    I just uploaded a few recordings of them with him on them
    Are these available and where can we get them?