Moore was at last year's Edgefest with Misha Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra, and this year he returns with the cooperative trio Jewels and Binoculars, which includes his old pal drummer Vatcher and the accomplished bassist Lindsey Horner. In a twist characteristic of the broad-minded Dutch perspective, this trio plays only the music of Bob Dylan. At first glance, this choice may seem somewhat idiosyncratic, as one thinks of Dylan mainly as a wordsmith and only secondarily as a composer of interesting melodies. Listening to their first CD (on Ramboy), one discovers that these musicians can take familiar tunes like "Boots of Spanish Leather," "With God on Our Side," "Visions of Johanna," or "Highway 61 Revisited" and bring out the purely melodic elements, turning them also into vehicles for jazz improvisations. This is definitely innovative music, but it is delicate, sensitive, and highly approachable by anyone who is willing to give it an ear.
Jewels and Binoculars performs on Thursday, October 3, at Kerrytown Concert House as part of this year's Edgefest.
[Originally published in October, 2002.]