Stanton Moore Trio, Emphasis (on the Parenthesis) (Telarc)

The flattest moment on Emphasis (on Parenthesis) is the moment right up the Stanton Moore Trio’s alley. “(Late Night at the) Maple Leaf” sounds like the jazz funk riff and groove you’ve known for all these years. Moore, Robert Walter and Will Bernard can nail that sort of piece, but because they already have a thousand times each, it feels a little pointless even if they nail it one more time. Much of the album is wittier or smarter or casts them in a more inventive light. “(Proper) Gander” has an entertaining prog rock vibe, complete with a pompous organ sound and nicely twisted guitar solo, and “Wissions (of Vu)” emerged from a group improvisation to Wu-Tang Clan. As you’d expect, the album has its share of Meter-esque tracks, but I’ll come back to “(I Have) Super Strength,” a slinky track with looped percussion, a lot of atmosphere, and the processed voice of Walter’s son announcing the title phrase.