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INTERVIEWS

Jason Moran: Joyful Proclamations

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Jason Moran requires no introduction, either as an artistic alchemist or a spokesperson and educator. Moran has left an indelible mark on modern jazz and is now seated at one of the nation's most preeminent performing spaces--the Kennedy Center--as its artistic director for jazz. Already, his capacity for insight, humor, and innovation have launched a new era for the Center's jazz programming, defined in equal measures by careful regard for the music's history, a broad artistic view, and pointed political statements aimed at the center of American cultural assumptions. At the same time, Moran continues to transcend musical boundaries--and in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Moran: All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller

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Jason Moran is an artist who is not afraid to look back while constantly pressing forward. The 2010 MacArthur Fellow is a leading jazz pianist with moments of kinetic energy, agility, and sensitivity, the likes of his one-time teacher, the great Jaki Byard. Whether performing with varied ensembles and musicians, bringing new perspectives as the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center or combining freestyle jazz with live skateboarders in San Francisco, Moran's passion and capacity is having an impact in the way jazz is seen and heard. All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller ...

DISTRICT JAZZ

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ...



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