Header Quote

"If you ain't got it in you, you can't blow it out."
— Louis Armstrong

Monday, August 9, 2010


Just up today on PopMatters, a new JAZZ TODAY column about Jason Moran.

Pianist, composer Jason Moran
Moran is as a good a summary of the history of jazz piano as I can imagine today.  He bridges way-back stride technique (via Thelonious Monk, 'f course) with avant-garde tone clusters, but he has a full command of everything in between.

More importantly, Moran has a fully developed personality as a composer and improviser.  He melds modern rhythmic ideas from hip hop with the jazz tradition, and plays beautiful, lyrical melodies without seeming to be aping anything from the past.

Another thing I love about Moran—he is active as both a leader and sideman.  His own music is distinctively his own, but when he plays with Paul Motian or Cassandra Wilson he complements their concept and still brings his own voice to the proceedings.  Cat would have thrived in the 1960s on Blue Note.

Jason Moran: refreshing but connected to tradition, still young but full mature as an artist.  Great!

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