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Jason Moran Readies New CD

Pianist Jason Moran will add a sixth album to his Blue Note discography on February 1, 2005 with Same Mother. The album continues in the same vein as his previous releases-taking traditional jazz ideas and melding them with influences as diverse and classical composer Maurice Ravel and Icelandic pop-rock star Björk.

Moran’s group, the Bandwagon, comprised of bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, accompanies the pianist on the album, along with guitarist Marvin Sewell, who contributes his trademark avant-garde licks to five tracks. “He was the perfect imperfect match for our group and this project,” Moran says of Sewell.

The music on the album was inspired by Moran’s soundtrack work for director Seith Mann’s short film Five Short Breaths. Moran says the score was based on “the sound of 1940s Mississippi prison songs. Humming and stomping for the score reminded my soul of a specific time and sound long gone. I wanted to do something improvisationally that was coming from a raw blues expression-to improvise with focus rather than thinking about chords. The charts for the compositions were really loose and really sparse.”

Moran also explained that the name of the album comes from a comment his wife made during a discussion about tap dancer Savion Glover. “She said that jazz movement and blues movement in dance both came from the same mother, and I thought, that’s exactly it-because blues and jazz are both music where you can directly express yourself.”

On Same Mother, the Houston-born Moran concentrates on his roots. He said the album is “more consciously about Texas, about home, which for me means a really slow, deliberate, emotionally direct approach to things.”

This is reflected in the influence of modern painter Jean Michel Basquiat, whose work continues to fuel Moran’s “Gangsterism” series of compositions. The first “Gangsterism” was heard on Moran’s debut album in 1999, and Same Mother contains two “Gangsterism” tracks: “Gangsterism on the Rise” and “Gangsterism on the Set,” which open and close the album, respectively.

Track list:

1 Gangsterism on the Rise

2 Jump Up

3 Aubade

4 G Suit Saltation

5 I’ll Play the Blues for You

6 Fire Waltz

7 Field of the Dead

8 Restin’

9 The Field

10 Gangsterism on the Set

Care to catch Moran in concert? Here are the amn’s current tour dates:

11/10/2004 • Merkin Hall • New York, NY

1/26/2005 • Jazz Standard • New York, NY

1/27/2005 • Jazz Standard • New York, NY

1/28/2005 • Jazz Standard • New York, NY

1/29/2005 • Jazz Standard • New York, NY

1/30/2005 • Jazz Standard • New York, NY

2/4/2005 • Annenburg Center • Philadelphia, PA

2/24/2005 • Kennedy Center Jazz Club • Washington, DC

3/18/2005 • Chicago Symphony Orchestra • Chicago, IL

4/22/2005 • Lincoln Center • New York, NY

4/23/2005 • Lincoln Center • New York, NY

5/7/2005 • McCarter Theater • Princeton, NJ

5/20/2005 • Walker Arts • Minneapolis, MN

5/21/2005 • Walker Arts • Minneapolis, MN

Originally Published