Saturday, February 12, 2005

Jason Moran – Same Mother (Blue Note, 2005)

This pianist and composer Jason Moran’s exploration of the blues. Unlike Wynton Marsalis’ rather hidebound explorations of that noble history, Moran takes a much more modern approach. Joining him on this disc are his regular mates, Tarus Mateen on bass, and drummer Nasheet Waits. The ringer on this session is the addition of guitarist Marvin Sewell who adds his urgent, earthy tone to several of the tracks.

The album moves through several different stages, from solo piano to a full blown quartet with snarling electric guitar and pounding piano out of the Ethan Iverson/Bad Plus camp. The version of Albert King's "I'll Play the Blues for You" is particularly interesting as the band navigates through the classic composition and shows just how much you can do when improvising on the blues. Highly recommended!

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