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Jason Moran: Same Mother

Jim Santella By

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Based on a film score that he wrote, Jason Moran introduces blues from the Deep South on Same Mother. The film, Five Short Breaths, depicts the raw outlook of life in a Mississippi prison during the 1940s. Thus, with his sixth Blue Note release, he's able to prove to the world once and for all that jazz and blues came "from the same mother."

The addition of guitarist Marvin Sewell to his stellar trio gives Moran's ensemble a relaxed feeling, and brings on their release of natural emotional expression. Together, the foursome explores blues themes with an improviser's acumen.

Moran, a physical pianist who likes to explore the keyboard with a forceful attack, "gets down" each time that he finds release in the music's history. "I'll Play the Blues for You" finds the quartet ruminating over the sensual feelings that the music releases in everybody. With Mal Waldron's "Fire Waltz" he explores the kind of gentle animation that can reflect a happy-go-lucky local or a cell-bound inmate trying to cope with the world around him. Passion surges throughout the album.

With his impressions of blues and jazz in a Southern prison setting, Moran tells a story. His quartet wends its way from nighttime stillness to anxious rumbles. Sewell's expressive guitar makes a perfect partner for the pianist, as the pair moves casually from scene to scene. Stillness and open spaces occupy a large part of the program, but its inherent message of inner strife and relaxed coping methods carries with it a valuable lesson—both for the music and for the soul.

Track Listing: Gangsterism on the Rise; Jump Up; Aubade; G Suit Saltation; I'll Play the Blues for You; Fire Waltz; Field of the Dead; Restin'; The Field; Gangsterism on the Set.

Personnel: Jason Moran: piano; Tarus Mateen: bass; Marvin Sewell, guitars; Nasheet Waits: drums.

Title: Same Mother | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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