Tonight I had the great pleasure of a brief but extremely rewarding and stimulating telephone interview with the Tony Award-winning (Purlie) and Grammy and Emmy –Award nominated singer and actress Melba Moore. Ms. Moore was most gracious, frank, and enlightening as she talked about her very rich career over these past forty years of career highpoints.
Ms. Moore is preparing to appear this Sunday evening at the cutting-edge and atmospheric Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. She is also justifiably promoting her very seductively light and rhythmic new album appropriately entitled Forever Moore. This is Ms. Moore’s first R&B album in twenty years so it is welcomed with great anticipation.
Aside from Ms. Moore’s theatrical background, her career has encompassed a diversity of musical styles including Gospel. Soul, Rock, Pop and R&B. No doubt her parent’s own musical prowess and encouragement for her to pursue her own career and musical ambitions inspired Ms. Moore to explore so many creative musical styles. As I asked Ms. Moore a series of brief questions, I realized that she is a survivor and a lively, thoughtful artist as the following interview conveys:
David: What are you trying to convey emotionally and musically in your upcoming concert at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club?
Melba: I’m a crowd-pleaser. These are the songs that people come for. People are coming for a good time.
What would you like to stress about your new album Forever Moore?
I think I accomplished more. Someone else writes the songs and that is not easy to do. You have to sharpen your intuition or senses because you are working in someone else’s territory. You are not the songwriter – you are expressing what the producers and the songwriters are saying. It is not an easy task to do. You have to try for something new—especially as I have been in the business for forty years.
Do you prefer performing on smaller concert stages, larger venues, or just singing in the recording studio?
I could make a preference but I don’t because you cannot – there are challenges to each venue. You have to stay in-the-moment at each venue.
I know that you have scored many successes overseas –especially in the U.K. —Do you feel that there is a difference between European and American audiences?
I absolutely feel that there is a tremendous difference between these audiences. The Europeans appreciate it all more.
Who are some of your major influences?
There were the icons we all love –those greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. My parents had a tremendous effect and influence on me. I also feel that there is a great plethora of artists today. I adore Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle and many others.”
Do you enjoy singing all the many styles of songs—R&B, Rock, Pop, Soul, etc.?
I have an eclectic and diverse appreciation for all the styles of music I sing. For what I enjoy listening to I love old-time Southern Gospel. I love Classical music.
How did you endure the hard times in the business of music and life?
I am called to be an artist. You often have life ‘kick you in the chins’. Life is very fragile and you have to understand this. I am a born-again Catholic Christian and I receive the Eucharist every day.
Thanks you very much for your time and I wish you well with your upcoming engagement at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, as well as with your new album.
Thank you very much.
Melba Moore performs tomorrow night, Sunday, October 2, 2016, at 8 PM (Doors open at 6 PM) at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club – 7719 Wisconsin Avenue, in Bethesda, MD. For tickets, purchase them online.