Two scoops of verve

"Eric Two Scoops Moore isn't greedy - he just has a lust for life and a taste for double portions.Two scoops of loving keep me satisfied, says the Boston-based Moore, who cites food as his consuming passion, not counting his wife Amy.Album titles like Clean Plate and Hungry speak for themselves, and suggest that music is also high on Moore's list of life-long loves.For it is as a musician that Moore earns his daily bread. Having toured blues and jazz festivals for six years with recording partner Luther Guitar Junior Johnson, he returns Saturday to play the piano for the third time at Island Center Hall, leading a band that includes Guy Quitino on bass, Jim King on sax and Cutts Peaslee on drums. His high-energy swing dance music always has people's feet moving, park district events coordinator Sue Hylen said of Moore's island performances.People love to dance, says Moore. It's good for them. With his characteristic sense that good things come in pairs, Moore says he finds the island atmosphere conducive to both writing and composing. He also likes the mixture of old and young dancers who support his island events, and believes the kids here are the healthiest around. Having performed worldwide, he should know - although these days Moore admits he's pickier about where he performs. He says he ignores smokey bars and tends to pick venues his wife would like.She's my inspiration, and I write to make her laugh, he says. He adds that he particularly values the freedom of live performance - which may explain why for all his talent, Moore claims he could never have been a music teacher.Despite having cultivated an eclectic bevy of influences, ranging from the famous Duke Ellington to the lesser known Tom Archia and including a dash of classical music, he says he has never much liked sight-reading.I always wanted to play the next note I wanted to hear, not what was written on the page, he says with a hearty chuckle, recalling how he would deceive his music instructor by playing by ear while pretending to read the music. To hear him joke, you'd never guess he had suffered a life-threatening disease. But for Moore, even the prospect of death has an entertainment value only a gourmand could appreciate. He giggles his way through the memory of having finished his first album, Big Buffet, and proposed to his wife when, in his own words, an orange became a grapefruit became a pineapple.To put it another way - he developed a growth on the side of his throat that alerted doctors to the life-threatening, flesh-eating disease necrotizing faciitis, from which he miraculously recovered.And it seems his encounter with the Grim Reaper has only whetted his appetite for achieving the impossible. The first thing he did when he recovered was encourage the chaplin who prayed for him on his death bed to get a never-before-used, one-day license so he and Amy could be married in The House of Blues. I'm at peace right now says Moore over the telephone, to the sound of what could as easily be the slap of a full stomach as the reverberation of a drum. I'm satisfied. * * * * *The Two Scoops Combo performs 8-11 p.m. June 10 at Island Center Hall. Tickets may be purchased at Glass Onion, Vern's Winslow Drug Store or from the park district main office at 842-2306. Adult tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Tickets for youth age 6-18 cost $7. "

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