Recent Articles

DISTRICT JAZZ

Rebellion and Respect: Kennedy Center Celebrates Blue Note's 75th Anniversary

Read "Rebellion and Respect: Kennedy Center Celebrates Blue Note's 75th Anniversary"

Blue Note Record's significance to modern music is as inarguable as its story is remarkable. Over its 75 year lifespan the label has recorded many of jazz's defining artists, its evolution tracing the trajectory of America's most significant musical form from its beginnings to its present day diverse manifestations. It is therefore especially auspicious that the celebration of its 75th anniversary took place at the Kennedy Center just as the center welcomes experimentalist Jason Moran as its now long-term artistic director, fulfilling a commitment to the musical form begun by the groundbreaking Billy Taylor when he established a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jason Moran, Randy Weston and Billy Harper at SFJazz

Read "Jason Moran, Randy Weston and Billy Harper at SFJazz"

Jason Moran, Randy Weston and Billy Harper SFJazz San Francisco, CA November 24, 2013 Three fine musicians came together on stage in a new jazz facility in San Francisco. First up was a rising star in the jazz world, an acclaimed pianist who frequently incorporates samples of taped music and text in his onstage performance. The second portion of the evening saw the reunion of two longtime off-and-on collaborators. The venue was SFJazz. The musicians: Jason Moran on solo piano, followed by the duo of pianist Randy Weston and saxophonist Billy Harper. Originally ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio 3 + Jason Moran: Refraction - Breakin' Glass

Read "Refraction - Breakin' Glass" reviewed by

The trio--launched in 1986--comprises three legendary maestros of progressive jazz and improvisation. Customarily, the band augments its line of attack with a guest pianist. Here, Jason Moran upholds the tradition and plays an integral role, augmenting the core unit's reach into pieces fabricated with kaleidoscopic formations and variegated hues, spanning a myriad of seamlessly integrated jazz-related mosaics. Essentially, nothing seems out-of-scope for these gents. At 11-minutes, bassist Reggie Workman's “Summit Conference" is the lengthiest piece on the album. They straddle the avant spectrum as alto saxophonist Oliver Lake's resounding phraseology, stewed with popping notes and drummer Andrew Cyrille's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio 3 + Jason Moran: Refraction - Breakin' Glass

Read "Refraction - Breakin' Glass" reviewed by

If ever there was a threesome that hankered after being a quartet, it's Trio 3. Though working as a self-contained unit since 1986, pianists have often supplemented the core triumvirate, and in fact one has augmented each of the group's previous three recordings. Now Jason Moran fills the piano stool on Refraction--Breakin' Glass, adding to an already heady brew. From bassist Reggie Workman's youthful stint with John Coltrane, to drummer Andrew Cyrille's 11-year tenure with piano iconoclast Cecil Taylor, via saxophonist Oliver Lake's pioneering work as a founder member of the illustrious World Saxophone Quartet, their experience touches on many ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charles Lloyd / Jason Moran: Hagar's Song

Read "Hagar's Song" reviewed by

Saxophonist/composer Charles Lloyd's 16 albums for ECM since the late 1980s represent a body of work as important as the influential recordings he made for Columbia and Atlantic in the 1960s. Lloyd's recordings with his latest quartet, Rabo de Nube (2008), Mirror (2010), Athen's Concert (2011) and, now, Hagar's Song, stand together as a special chapter in Lloyd's ECM story for the often transcendental quality of the music. Pianist Jason Moran has been an integral part of Lloyd's quartet since 2007, and here the two perform intimate renditions of songs beloved by Lloyd, plus a captivating 26-minute suite.Faithful ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Charles Lloyd / Jason Moran: Hagar's Song

Read "Charles Lloyd / Jason Moran: Hagar's Song" reviewed by

Looking back at Charles Lloyd's sizable discography as a leader, what's becomes immediately clear is that the saxophonist has shared a number of special, long-term musical relationships with pianists: first, Keith Jarrett, in the quartet that brought Lloyd considerable fame and commercial success in the 1960s; and then Bobo Stenson, when he returned from nearly two decades of relative inactivity as a leader (some of it spent recording and touring with The Beach Boys) and began an association with ECM Records that continues to this day. His first five ECM albums--from 1990's Fish Out of Water through to the particularly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Motian / Jason Moran / Chris Potter: Lost in a Dream

Read "Lost in a Dream" reviewed by

Pianos have rarely been featured in drummer Paul Motian's ensembles, though his years with Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett have surely left an impression on his approach to balladry. Lost in a Dream is a collection of Motian ballads recorded at the Village Vanguard in early 2009, with Motian in the intriguing company of pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Chris Potter. The empathy here is pronounced. Never restricted by the role of mere time-keeper, Motian's touch and free, impressionistic playing sets the tone for these performances and Moran and Potter are set loose to explore the melodic possibilities of the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jason Moran: Ten

Read "Jason Moran: Ten" reviewed by

Jason MoranTenBlue Note Records2010

Ten celebrates the ten year life of the Bandwagon, pianist Jason Moran's trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits. The piano trio is a mainstay in the jazz tradition, and here the Bandwagon does a characteristically great job of being firmly in that tradition while also blazing a new trail.

“Blue Blocks" starts with a descending motif, planing chords in a gravitational freefall, the hint of a blues turnaround; the piece goes through several styles, using the blues as building blocks. “RFK In The Land Of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Moran: Ten

Read "Ten" reviewed by

Pianist Jason Moran offers Ten, to mark a decade with the Bandwagon, his trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and it's an anniversary worth celebrating. But Ten is also Moran's first release since Artist In Residence (Blue Note, 2006), so it affords him the opportunity to include pieces from long-form commissioned works he's written since then. The loping, gospel-tinged “Blue Blocks" is from a multimedia suite inspired by the quilt makers of Gee's Bend, Alabama. “RFK in the Land of Apartheid," ominous and grooving, is from Moran's score to a film of the same name. “Feedback Pt. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost In A Dream

Read "Lost In A Dream" reviewed by

Flitting like drunken fireflies, luminescent tones flutter out of a saxophone, tracing capricious, spasmodic lines. In the background, washes of cymbals and softly-brushed snare sweeps weave discretely fine-spun rhythms around a shy piano that is busy rocking drowsy chords to sleep. Fragmented, almost to the point of abstraction, the music nevertheless expands, ebb and flowing placidly like sea waves licking at a sandy beach, pulse-less yet its life beating strong.If a modernist spin on the old cubist aesthetic appears to be the inspiration behind the cover artwork of Lost In A Dream, then the analogy may also very ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream

Read "Lost in a Dream" reviewed by

Consider this album a blind date of sorts: Drummer Paul Motian-meets-pianist-Jason Moran, introduced by the matchmaker, saxophonist Chris Potter. Though Motian had worked once with Moran in 2006, this collaboration is a stunning example of the versatility and mastery of Motian's veteran technique. Recorded over a week of concerts at New York City's Village Vanguard, Motian's stomping grounds, this album is held together by the trio's seemingly effortless exploration of slow, melodic ballads. At 79, Motian has proven to be a versatile and thorough player, thriving in any combination of players. With plenty of elbow room within ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream

Read "Lost in a Dream" reviewed by

Drummer Paul Motian seems to fit very comfortably into any musical situation, and elevate it. With a career that spans more than five decades--and seeming to begin at an early pinnacle with pianist Bill Evans' trio on the legendary Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961)--Motian has, as a sideman, augmented musical visions galore. A listen no further than his contributions to Bobo Stenson's Goodbye (ECM Records, 2005), Anat Fort's A Long Story (ECM Records, 2007), or Marc Copland's New York Trio Recordings Vol. 1: Voices (Pirouet Records, 2007) provides just a small slice of the magic he has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost In A Dream

Read "Lost In A Dream" reviewed by

A drummer whose inventive approach to percussion has produced one of the most recognizable and in demand sounds in the pantheon of jazz, Paul Motian's revolutionary playing has seen him approach the kit not as a rhythmic backbone, but as a tool for subtlety and soundscape creation. Lost In A Dream, Motian's set of midnight ballads, is a perfect evocation of the the New York Cityscape's iconography. His hushed brush work calls to mind the patter of rain--the mist and fog that shrouds the city. Fitting, then, that the drummer's induction of this new trio was recorded at the legendary ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost In A Dream

Read "Lost In A Dream" reviewed by

Drummer Paul Motian makes another stellar recording with his newest trio of pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Chris Potter. Soon to be eighty, the drummer--who doesn't venture out of Manhattan these days--displays full command over musical expression and emotion on this live recording.

It's impossible to listen to Motian's trio work at New York's Village Vanguard without reflecting on his employer in the early 1960s, Bill Evans. Motian sat at the drum chair for those grail-like dates with the pianist and bassist Scott LaFaro. Like the reissued Complete Live At The Village Vanguard 1961 (Riverside, 2005), Lost in ...



Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Mark Corroto

Contributor

Mark Corroto Senior Contributor
Doug Dickin

Visual artist

Doug Dickin Photographer

Join Us Today!