Jason Moran: Black Stars

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Jason Moran has hit the mark every time out. The adventurous pianist creates suite-like musical portraits that, in the end, will affect the growth of modern mainstream jazz. For his third album as leader, Moran has enlisted saxophonist Sam Rivers. As like-minded improvisers, the four artists drive with considerable force. What makes it work so well is that they share a common approach. Each of the quartet's members supplies a portion of the improvised music that fits that of the others quite well. Hence, they're helping each other with every effort. Moran has a wide range of dynamic values. From dark and quiet, to bright and loud, the pianist makes changes in the directions that each piece will travel. Rivers is at his best. His fluid tenor saxophone articulation makes for ease of movement. Moran's originals portray various themes; at times the music swings. Compositions by Duke Ellington, Jaki Byard and saxophonist Rivers fill out the remainder of the program. Creative music can scare traditional listeners away. When rhythms become complex and harmonies turn free, the music can sometimes lose its friendliness. Jason Moran's program retains just enough comfort, while unleashing complex ideas suitable for both the intellectual collector and the casual listener.

Track Listing: Foot Under Foot; Kinda Dukish; Gangsterism on a River; Earth Song; Summit; Say Peace; Draw the Light Out; Out Front; The Sun at Midnight; Skitter In; Sound It Out.

Personnel: Jason Moran- piano; Sam Rivers- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, piano intro on "Sound It Out;" Tarus Mateen- bass; Nasheet Waits- drums.

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Live 1978 at The Old Waldorf" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1978 at The Old Waldorf
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Doug Collette
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "Songs From Afar" CD/LP/Track Review Songs From Afar
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!