Jason Moran: Facing Left
Schooled at the piano of Jaki Byard, Andrew Hill, and Muhal Richard Abrams, Moran joined Greg Osby for the 1997 recording Further Ado and last year’s New Directions band. Taking cues from his mentors, Moran chooses to be an original voice. It’s as if he were built out of genetic material taken from Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Don Pullen. His second album as a leader follows up last year’s Soundtrack To Human Motion, a bold statement of original compositions. As hinted on Sountrack, his promise is fully realized in a trio setting. As a composer he opts for dissonance not to distract, but to focus the listener. His notes, sometimes unresolved, speak of his precocious nature. Like Monk, he is developing his own language of jazz. But he is a Thelonious of his own time, covering the pop singer Bjork’s “Joga” in the tradition of Keith Jarrett playing from his standards albums. He also takes on hip-hop sampling, but not in mindless beats. He plays a loop of notes (“beats”) embellishing upon the symmetry. He covers two seldom heard Ellington compositions, “Later” and “Wig-Wise” as perhaps proof that his concept of 21st century jazz is consistent with last centuries innovators. There’s also two movie soundtrack covers: one from a Kurosawa film, the other a march from Godfather II. Strange but not odd, unique but thoroughly logical, Moran is poised to rule jazz for a long time to come.
Track List:Later; Thief Without Loot; Joga; Wig Wise; Yojimbo; Another One; Lies Are Sold; Murder Of Don Fanucci; Twelve; Three Of The Same Are Different; Fragment Of A Necklace; Battle Of Cattle Acts; Gangsterism On Wood.
Personnel: Jason Moran
Record Label: Blue Note Records