His brother-in-arms in the front line, alto saxophonist Dean Moore, is equally adept on his instrument. On the stand Moore contrasts well with Chandler; his deceptively easy manner is rooted in complete control of his horn. He uses a uniquely identifiable dry tone that hardly varies, forcing the listener to concentrate on his choice of notes and on complex rhythmic variations. Moore is a patient improviser and is a master of form, taking motifs and working them with broad patterns in mind, often building up slowly to dramatic climaxes. The whole band rides on the solid, tense drive provided by the drummer. Sean Dobbins has the ability to play strongly without drowning out his fellow musicians, and he is with them all the way, probing, answering, and inspiring in a fully musical manner.
As good as these musicians are individually, their cumulative effort is what makes Urban Transport distinctive. They play only originals written by the three leaders and maintain a sense of excitement onstage that is rare these days. Urban Transport brings its evolving repertoire to the Firefly Club on Saturday, May 24.
[Originally published in May, 2003.]