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REVIEW Jason Moran’s “Ten”

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Tuesday June 08, 2010

(From The Boston Globe)

By: STEVE GREENLEE
Published: June 7, 2010

It’s been more than a decade since Jason Moran appeared out of nowhere and upended the notion that no one in jazz could do anything new on the piano. From the opening moments of his first album, Soundtrack to Human Motion, Moran announced himself as not just a musician but an artiste. He arrived with a fully developed style, one that suggested the compositional genius of Andrew Hill, the ragged rhythmic approach of Thelonious Monk, and the melodic intuitiveness of Herbie Hancock (and others). In 10 short years, he managed to issue several albums that are already considered classics and keep together a trio that is one of today’s finest. That trio — Bandwagon, with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits — is behind Ten,’ Moran’s outstanding new disc. It contains the best of what he does: smart writing, propulsive rhythms, and improvisations that suggest mile-a-minute thinking and a sense that Moran constantly pushes himself to find the freshest phrase. There is an astounding right-hand run toward the end of “Blue Blocks’’ that is so brilliant it would blind you if you could see sound. Even more miraculous: his dramatic, modernistic twist on Monk’s “Crepuscule With Nellie’’ and his wry take on “Study No. 6,’’ a piece by Conlon Nancarrow. (Out June 22)

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