Pianist Jason Moran and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello have for the last few years been working on one of Moran's big ideas-- the changing of the performance aspect of jazz. In that endeavor, the two have been reworking the music of Fats Waller, itself already inherently lending itself to dance, and performing it as a dance party. The various shows Moran has put on have been uproariously fun affairs, and now he's bringing the whole shindig to your earlobes in his upcoming Blue Note release, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, out September 16th.
He just released the video and stream (with download available for purchase at iTunes. Check it out after the jump.
The ongoing work that is Radiclani Clytus and Gregg Conde's documentary on Jason Moran, Grammar, is steadily moving forward. Today, the pair just released a ten-minute clip from the film, a look at the collaboration between Moran and conceptual artist Theaster Gates as the pair work on the premiere of "Looks of a Lot" at Chicago's Symphony Orchestra Hall on May 30, 2014. Watch the video featuring The Bandwagon of Tarus Mateen & Nasheet Waits, Ken Vandermark, Katie Ernst, and the Kenwood Academy Jazz Band after the jump.
San Antonio just didn't dance. It's not as though they weren't feeling the music. It's not as though they didn't clap on beat and rise at every appropriate moment for an ovation at the end of the show and for the encore. It's not as though the show wasn't great, it was. Jason Moran seamlessly navigated between piano, Rhodes, and the art of just getting out of the way and dancing around the stage. It was truly a joyful night, literally and figuratively moving. But the folks at San Antonio's Jo Long Theater last Saturday night just didn't get up to dance for Jason Moran's Fats Waller Dance Party.
Back in 2011, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper got together for a ridiculously good jam session with Alan Hampton, Mark Kelley, Chris Dave, and Eric Harland (!). Recently, this pair of pianists got back together to celebrate Blue Note Records’ 75th anniversary with a piano duet concert.
Moran and Glasper recently got together with Josh Jackson from WBGO’s The Checkout to talk about the history of Blue Note Records, their styles on the piano, and of course to play a piano duet. You’ll definitely want to drop what you’re doing to listen to this. Check it out here.