The surname Moore represents more than a corpulent smorgasbord to the jazz and blues discographer: it is a fully stocked larder, capable of weathering a three-month siege if necessary. For Billy Moore, specifically a jazz guitarist from the '40s, only a small section of the pantry would be required, but these are well-seasoned treats that have preserved nicely over the years, possibly due to a sprinkling of mythical fairy dust. If such a thing does exist in aesthetic circles, there would certainly have been a cloud of it hovering around New York City's Cafe Society, where Billy Moore was something of a regular fixture on the bandstand. Discographer Tom Lord identifies this guitarist as Bill Moore, crediting him with a pair of sessions on both bass and guitar during the first half of the '40s. Session credits from the Savoy label and newspaper accounts of activity at Cafe Society mention him only as Billy Moore and only as a guitarist. There may well have been another bassist active during the '40s named Bill Moore. According to Lord, a guitarist named William Moore also recorded one jazz album in the early '50s; this is also a third party, although probably not the bassist from Mississippi by the same name. To get back to Cafe Society, it may have seemed at times that society itself consisted entirely of people with this name. While working the club in various configurations, Moore most likely rubbed elbows with pianist and arranger Billy Moore, also known as Billy Moore Jr. Neither man should be mistaken for the tenor saxophonist known as Wild Bill Moore, although during the early R&B years he was a recording competitor for the amusing singer and guitarist Slim Gaillard, with whom guitarist Moore sometimes gigged and recorded. The superb pianist Ellis Larkins made his professional debut in a Cafe Society band fronted by Moore himself. For Savoy, Moore recorded as a member of the Johnny Mehegan Quartet in 1945, then returned a month later as the leader of Billy Moore & His Jumping String Octet, an interesting configuration in the chamber mode that cut sides such as "Stringin' the Boogie" and a cover of "Liebestraum." ~ Eugene ChadbournePortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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