Sean Moyses is one of Europe\'s premiere four-string banjoists. “Banjo Power!” In listening to the recording, two words come to mind: quality and variety! This is an exceptionally well done CD on many levels. First and foremost, Sean is an excellent plectrum player. He also has an understanding of what appeals to a wide range of listenership. The combination makes for a banjo recording well worth having. Banjo Power” was recorded in a professional studio with some terrific musicians in addition to Sean. The result is an overall sound that\'s full and well balanced. Each tune has its own strengths and nuances, no matter what the instrumentation. Do you like verses? Most of the tunes on this CD have the verse! This is really nice for those of us trying to track verses down. Sean sings a bunch of them – and he has a super voice for the 1920\'s style tunes. Sean also glides effortlessly from tune to tune and banjo style to banjo style. “Banjo Power!” opens with the standard “Runnin\' Wild” utilizing the rarely heard bass saxophone to fill in the bottom end. A nice banjo chord melody lead by Sean develops into a creative chord and single-string improvisation. Then he throws in an unexpected key change! Overall, the tune is very satisfying to the ear. The second number, “Doll Dance,” has a completely different feel to it from the first tune. “Doll Dance” is much slower and edges toward ragtime. Then Sean musically changes everything again! He moves from the banjo to a National plectrum guitar and sings “I\'ve Got A Feeling I\'m Falling.” Great tune and excellent instrumentation! Each tune on “Banjo Power!” has something noticeably different as part of it. “It\'s Only A Paper Moon” has a beautiful plectrum guitar introduction, “Button Up Your Overcoat” has the seldom-used verse, “Hard Hearted Hannah” is played on baritone uke ,“Crazy Jo” is played on the plectrum banjo with the bass sax,, “Tea For Two” is played solo with an amazingly light touch on the banjo including the verse, and so on. You get the idea! There\'s also a special original piece composed by Sean titled “Ukulele Tagliatelli.” If you listen closely to the tune, you\'ll hear some fascinating chord changes, timing and playing dexterity. “Banjo Power” is a special recording. To the casual listener, the variety of tunes and instrumentation on this CD will keep toes tapping. The more advanced banjoist will want this CD for musical ideas, verses, key changes and performing talent. Way to go, Sean. You have a true winner in “Banjo Power!”.
Dave Frey, California.
Well, Christmas came early for me this year. I was fortunate enough to come across a new CD by Sean Moyses entitled \'BANJO POWER\' . I would like to wish critics out there who plan to review this recording \'good luck,\' Finding anything wrong with this CD is like trying to find a flaw in the Hope Diamond!
Sean opens up with \'Running Wild\' and \'The Doll Dance.\' Best twenty dollars I\'ve spent in a long, long time, I recall telling myself. Then, here he comes with plectrum guitar and presents "I\'ve Got A Feeling I\'m Falling". And he sings it, too. Very smooth. I can just imagine the broken hearts this classy gent has left behind. Mr. Moyses demonstrates his versatility by showcasing different instruments:Plectrum banjo and guitar, and various ukuleles. You soon get the impression that if it has strings attached to it, Sean can play it and play it well !! Chord melody, single string dances, duo-banjo technique-- it\'s all here ! Plus, his band is wonderful-- sounds like everybody was having a great time with this project. I was very impressed with some of the Eddie Peabody-style arrangements (e.g.Saint Louis Blues\', \'Sing Song Girl\'). As a life-long Peabody fan, there is a way I like to hear his music emulated...and Sean is right on the money. You come away certain of two things: Sean has great respect for Eddie\'s music and Eddie would have great respect for Sean\'s talent. You\'ve heard the old expression...Room At The Top. I noticed a lot of \'Peabody flair\' in Sean\'s version of \'Button Up Your Overcoat\'-- a song I never heard Eddie play. That was a fun twist. Again, got to listen to this English chap\'s vocals......what a treat! There is so much to enjoy when you listen to \'BANJO POWER.\' For example, I had never heard the verse to \'Tea For Two\' and loved this arrangement so much that I have probably worn out the groove for selection #17 by now. Sean closes with \'Bye Bye Blues\'. But by the time I got to this last song, I was already a fan. The fact that he pulls a fabulous number out of his hat to sign off with was just icing on the cake for me !! Ok, ok.....you can probably tell that I liked this new recording. As a fellow banjo player, I have to tell you honestly-- I believe THIS is what banjo music is supposed to sound like !! Clean, snappy, effortless, joyous, moving...............now, if we could just find a way to get Mr. Moyses to perform in the states more often ! But if not, it may be time I took a little European vacation.
Jackie-Lynn MacCoy, Cincinnati, Ohio.
With the world getting seemingly smaller via the technologies provided by the Internet and satellite communication, it must be noted that an ocean still separates the United States- - and its wealth of banjo players and resources, from those in other countries who would like to make use of them. Still, even with the obvious obstacles, there are many individuals around the world who follow the muse once they\'ve been bitten by the banjo bug. One outstanding example is Germany\'s Sean Moyses.
In his new CD, Banjo Power, Moyses shows without question that he is growing as both musician, banjo player and performer. The CD shows Sean in a variety of musical moods and settings. He certainly is an accomplished banjoist, respectful of the banjo giants of the past as demonstrated by his faithful versions of famous solos by Eddie Peabody, Harry Reser and the like. However, Sean really shines when he is just being Sean. His personality inspired arrangements and presentation of a wide variety of jazz and Tin Pan Alley tunes, making use of his abilities as both an instrumentalist as well as a vocalist, are a treat to listen to.
Throughout the 18 tracks, Moyses switches between banjo, ukulele, banjo uke and guitar to play instrumental solos or to accompany his charming vocals. For added variety, the selections are played in ensembles ranging from unaccompanied solo banjo to full band. Of particular (and most enjoyable) note are the selections which have been arranged in the style of a 1920s dance orchestra. The distinctive setting, which includes both bass saxophone and violin supporting Sean\'s banjo and vocals, is refreshing and delightful. Sean Moyses is a wonderful banjo player who, through his new CD Banjo Power , gives us something more......good music !
Johnny Baier, All Frets magazine.
This is a well balanced and well recorded CD, with plenty of banjo and ukulele. Sean is supported by a superb jazz ensemble, 1920\'s style with special mention to Andy Leggett on bass saxophone who gives a nice \'booty edge\' to the band. The band is swinging all the way.
It\'s nice to hear often neglected verses to songs, how many of you guys and gals out there have heard the verses to such numbers as : Ain\'t She Sweet / At Sundown / I\'ve Got A Feeling I\'m Falling / Painting The Clouds With Sunshine? Sean puts these together in a nice way. Special mention of Sean\'s rendering of Nacio Herb Brown\'s “The Doll Dance”, bringing back memories of the late, great Ken Harvey- a forgotten hero when banjo players of the past are mentioned. Sean plays a Pietsch MasterVox plectrum banjo, a nice, rich, full toned banjo which Sean has the musical technique to explore, both in chordal and single note styles.
All in all a good banjo recording which I\'m sure will be on the \'turntable\' quite a lot.
Eddy Davis, NYC, Resonator magazine.
BANJO POWER - die aktuelle CD von Sean Moyses ist da! Nach seinen ersten Banjo-CDs, Hot Rhythm und Tiger Rag legt Sean hier eine exzellente Musikpalette vor, unterst von hochrangigen Musikanten wie: Andy Leggett/bss; Ralf Peyer/piano; Matthias Seuffert/cl, sax; Michael Neusser/dr, wb und last but not least charming Miryam Stober, die uns mit ihrer ausdrucksstarken Stimme verzaubert - hier an der Violine! Wir kennen Sean als kraftvollen Banjosolisten, der die hochsten Schwierigkeitsgrade charmant meistert und wundervolle Bearbeitungen presentiert.
Was Sean allerdings auf dieser CD auf seinem Pietsch Mastervox Plectrum Banjo, auf der Plectrumguitar und auf dem Banjo-Uke und der Bariton-Uke zaubert und stilecht gestaltet, ist grosse Klasse! Furios geht mit Running Wild in einen musikalischen Bogen, The Doll Dance,Ive got a feeling Im falling(sehr bluesig!)Thats a Plenty, Painting the clouds…zum Solopart Take Your Pick. Mir diese Einspielung in seiner speziellen Banjostimmung sehr gut - bei ruhiger Tempowahl folgt die harmonische Geschichte, die wirklich als Aufforderung alle Banjoliebhaber zu verstehen Greif Dein Pick und spiele Sehr angenehm ist der Verzicht auf halsbrecherische Solol klare Harmonieverbindungen beweisen wieder: in der Schlichtheit liegt die Genialit Weiter geht mit It only a Paper Moon und Sing Song Girl mit herrlichen Song- und Pianopassagen zum Resertitel;Crazy Jo den Sean souver und gekonnt vorstellt. Die musikalische Vielfalt und universelle Musikalit beweist Sean in den folgenden Titeln:- Button up Your Overcoat, Hard Hearted Hannah, St. Louis Blues & Ein Kammerst ist ohne Zweifel Ukulele Tagliatelli, Uke-Niveau gespielt! Sehr romantisch die Titel At Sundown und Pasadena, Tea for Two und Bye Bye Blues machen Appetit auf mehr! Mehr wunderbare Unterhaltungsmusik auf hohem Konzertniveau gespielt vom liebenswerten und engagierten Klassemusikanten Sean Moyses: Die CD ist ein MUSS für Liebhaber und Banjospieler, Guitarristen und Uke-Player!
HJ Elter, Germany, International Jazz Banjo Newsletter.