LeRoi Moore passed away earlier this year from complications stemming from an ATV accident in June. Moore was an accomplished woodwind musician, and played baritone, bass, tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, along with the flute, bass clarinet, penny whistle, and oboe. Moore was a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band, and, although he wasn't credited as a songwriter on many songs, was often key to helping arrange the music.
Moore met Dave Matthews while Matthews was working at a Virginia bar that Moore would often play at. Dave has often jokingly described their first meeting by saying that LeRoi was "leaning on the cash register because standing had become a chore." Matthews described Moore's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at their first meeting as "the day I fell in love with him." Moore was the most private member of the Dave Matthews Band, often wearing sunglasses during shows and rarely speaking or giving interviews. He instead let his music speak for him, and rarely has a musician been so adept at letting emotion be shown through an instrument. Moore's versatility allowed the Dave Matthews Band to explore a variety of styles, from acoustic pop rock to mellow bluesy songs to heavy funk rock. Moore always contributed in a way that complemented the song, sometimes with subtle background harmonies and sometimes with blistering solos. While many may feel that a saxophone is nothing more than an accompanying background instrument in rock music, LeRoi Moore made it an integral part of the music of the Dave Matthews Band.
It's already been decided that DMB will continue without Moore, and I agree with this decision. However, no replacement, no matter how competent, will be able to take the place of LeRoi Moore. Personally, I'm going to miss his powerful versions of "All Along The Watchtower," and how he defined the ending of that song. I'm going to miss his extended solos in "#41." I'm going to miss his penny whistle in "Bartender" and his flute in "Dreaming Tree." More than anything, however, I'm going to miss the presence he had as he did nothing more than make amazing music. - Jeff Modzelewski