Jason Moran - album review (3 stars)

Jason Moran

Artist in Residence (Blue Note Records)


Pianist Jason Moran has rarely settled for the obvious, but his seventh disc for Blue Note pushes into even more eclectic and unconventional territory than usual. The music on the record draws on segments from three separate commissions, two of which involved working in multi-disciplinary contexts.

Moran’s core band with Marvin Sewell (guitar), Tarus Mateen (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) is augmented by guests that include his wife, opera singer Alicia Hall Moran, the sampled voice of conceptual artist Adrian Piper, and some odd sound effects. Trumpeter Ralph Alessi and Addou Mboup on djembe and talking drum are featured on ‘RAIN’, part of a commission from Jazz at Lincoln Center. It all underlines Moran’s status as one of the most intriguing pianists around, but if you are looking for conventional jazz thinking, then hear before you buy.

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