Jan 21, 2010
Born in 1975, Jason Moran has become one of the finest pianists and band leaders in modern jazz. Now age 35, we can only hope he will continue to push the envelope with his compostions and performance,s both as a leader and sideman.
A student of Andrew Hill and Muhal Richard Abrams, Moran came to public attention playing with Greg Osby's band. Since then, he and his band The Bandwagon have made some of the best albums of the last decade. In choosing the 50 most important recordings of the last decade, NPR Music Critic Patrick Jarenwattananon chose only two jazz albums, one of which was Moran's Black Stars. He wrote:
Jazz has spent its last 50 years dealing with both the promise and difficulties posed by free improvisation. On his third album, a 26-year-old Jason Moran embraced its potential for dazzling brilliance by couching it in an inclusive, even schizoid take on jazz history. He embraces post-bop as readily as he reconfigures the music of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and early stride piano masters.
Click here to listen to "Foot Under Foot" from that stunning CD, featuring Moran on piano, Tarus Mateen on bass, Nasheet Waits on drums, and the mightySam Rivers on tenor sax.
Moran's current projects have spilled over into other genres as well. He performs the World Premiere of a Piano Concerto by Ohad Talmor with the Porto National Symphonic Orchestra & Orquestra Jazz Matosinhos in Lisbon, Portugal in February 2010.