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Sadly it appears as if another great musician has left us recently. LeRoi Moore, founding member and saxophonist (and general woodwind player) for the Dave Matthews Band passed away the other day at 43 from complications after a vehicle accident earlier this summer.
Back in what seems a little like a past life these days, I was a huge DMB fan, and although I did eventually grow out of that, I still enjoy their music from time to time, think they are definitely talented and put on some of the most fun concerts I've ever seen. I have a lot of respect for the entire band as musicians, and especially for LeRoi Moore.
I started off my "musical hobby" as a saxophonist actually, not coming to the instrument I play now and discuss most often on this site, guitar, until many years later. This time in my life actually coincides pretty well with the time when I was most into DMB, and the unique playing of LeRoi Moore was a big influence on me. On some songs it was almost like Moore was providing the main rhythm and melody, with intricate parts, short bursts, or sustained sections that blended so well with the violin playing of Boyd Tinsley. Then of course, there were the jams when the band would stretch out into an epic improvisation with Tinsley and Moore interweaving parts that walked the boundaries between genres like rock and roll, bluegrass and jazz.
Moore's playing has a lot of jazz influences and definitely inspired me to check out some of the great jazz saxophonists, but at the same time is unique. There are times when that sax just screams and soars unlike any other, but the next second he could fall back into jazz improvisation, or funk or the rhythm of the track, just like that. His sax playing is such an integral part of the DMB sound that it's instantly recognizable, but at the same time, some of my favorite solos of his, are on other instruments, like flute... truly a talented musician who will be greatly missed.
Although I'm sure the band will continue on (and I'm sure Moore would want them to) making great music with whoever steps in ... I'm also sure that DMB fans will agree it just won't be the same. They'll be great yes... but not quite the same without LeRoi.
R.I.P. LeRoi Moore, your music will live on and inspire countless musicians for years to come. Condolences from the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll to the rest of the Dave Matthews Band, as well as all his friends friends and family, as well as all the DMB fans around the world.