Dan Matrazzo -aka Dr. Dan- has a jam band pedigree like few others. The keyboardist was a founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and was member for Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown’s band for a few years in the 1980s. He has also played with the likes of Phish, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Morphine, Les Claypool and even James Cotton. As if that wasn’t enough to prove his cred on the streets -or wherever it is that neo-hippies congregate- Dr. Dan has spent many a summer playing the H.O.R.D.E. tour.
Dan on the Moon has many of the qualities that one would expect from a musician with such a pedigree. Funk is the flavor that ties everything together but soul jazz, fusion, and the blues show up as do rock and acid jazz. The music is fun and easy dance to while containing a bit of experimentation. The best track is probably is "Mias’s Tears," a solo piano ballad recording from the leader. Fans of Medeski Martin & Wood will probably find a lot to like here.
The rap on jam bands is often that they don’t create much new music and are mired in the cliches of the past. Dan on the Moon shows the fallibility of such thinking. This is a thoroughly modern recording that belongs to the era of hip-hop but isn’t afraid to look at the past. A quite enjoyable disc.