Russell ‘Russ’ Moore, who shined on drums and as union leader, dies at 94

The cover of the 2021 reissue of the album Jazz From The North Coast, Volume 2 says “Rare and Obscure”, but for fans like Brad Eggen, the 1956 recording is simply legendary. is.

Pianist Herb Pilhofer chose the Twin Cities top sideman to complete the arrangement.

drummer? “Of course, his first choice was the trap set Russ his Moore,” said Eggen.

Russell “Russ” Moore died in September at the age of 94 after spending nearly three decades as a daily outspoken union leader representing the interests of fellow Twin Cities musicians. His son James Moore said last week that he is working outside music to support his wife and his three children.

“It’s totally cool all the time,” Moore said of his father. “Kind but steadfast and fully committed to the Minnesota music scene.”

Russ Moore grew up in St. Paul and often accompanied his father, Sidney, to the Elder Moore’s work as a film operator at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis. There, artists such as Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald performed, and Russ hung out with musicians in the dressing room, eventually developing a desire to play drums at the age of 13.

This was a time when nightclubs doubled as strip joints along Hennepin Avenue, where jazz musicians could make a living playing six days a week, Moore said in a 2014 show with singer Patti Peterson. said in a YouTube interview.

But it wasn’t until Moore, fresh out of Mechanic Arts High School, found out that drummer Joe Sanders of Nighthawks fame had left the band to begin his professional career at the Lowry Hotel in St. Paul. It was a show.

“I’m 18,” he said later. “Suddenly, we were playing in Chicago and Boston.”

He toured with other acts such as the Teddy Phillips Orchestra, and after returning from military service at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1952, became a “first call” drummer for Don Rickles, Vic Damon and The Smathers Brothers. became.

Moore also performed with Patti Peterson’s mother, Gene Erland Peterson, and still marveled at her ability to play the B-3 organ in 2014.

“Your mother was one of the only B-3s to play. [with] Her legs are right,” Moore told Peterson during an interview.

“Really,” said Peterson. “My mother could kick a mean B-3.”

In the 1960s, Moore had a shop called Drumland, where he sold drums and gave lessons. Artists future owner of his quarter, Kenny Horst, who was about 16 at the time, took a bus to take lessons there. But he needed to go home. Sure, Moore said, but first Holst had to come to his gig.

“I never forgave him,” Horst said with a laugh.

In 1977, Moore became Treasurer of the Twin Cities Musicians Union, and in 1989 appointed lawyer and trumpeter Eggen as president. The offer took him by surprise, Eggen said recently. It was because Eggen was suing the club to enforce the union contract, and Moore thought he had been summoned to undermine it.

“Having the opportunity to represent people I care about in the industry has changed my life,” Eggen said. “That’s why I’m so grateful to him.”

Besides his son, he has a daughter Diane Moore, a sister Mary Jean Wendt, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Service was held.

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