Eric Krasno & Stanton Moore, Krasno Moore Project: Book of Queens Review
by Stamish Malcuss
Guitarist Eric Krasno (Lettuce, Soulive) and drummer Stanton Moore (Galactic, Garage-a-Trois) have joined together to release their album House of Queens, which was recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York. The GRAMMY award-winning musicians created a group of songs from some of their favorite female artists, including Amy Winehouse, Billie Eilish, H.E.R., Nina Simone, and more. Joining Krasno and Moore is organist Eric Finland and special guests Cory Henry, Branford Marsalis, and Robert Randolph.
“You Know I’m No Good” has a slick groove, with Krasno’s clean reverb-laden guitar leading us through the melody. Krasno and Moore certainly have a soul groove foundation in common, and Finland fits in like a glove. The ensemble uses blues and jazz for an impressive performance that is equal parts traditional and contemporary. Krasnos’ six-string solo is finely-wrought with original color and soul that undoubtedly elevates this song into the contemporary jazz space.
The cover of Brittany Howard’s “Stay High,” featuring Cory Henry on synthesizer, is a swinging shuffle feel, the ensemble develops many colors as the organ and keyboards blend to form a rich sound. Krasno is genuinely a multifaceted artist, as he gets many tones and colors from his guitar. Henry displays a mastery of touch and is empathetic in his contribution.
House of Queens is a soulful groove album that presents arrangements of these tunes in a heartfelt manner that blends the original melodies with groove jazz that is melodic and soulful. Krasno keeps the original strains of the melodies intact to give us a pleasurable experience of hearing these songs with a new perspective. The eclecticism of Moore’s drumming is guided by the diversity of his narrative. House of Queens is a soulful collection of tunes regardless if you are familiar with the originals.