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Jason Moran: Facing Left

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If pianist Jason Moran served notice to the too-easily-satisfied jazz scene with his stunning 1999 debut, Soundtrack to Human Motion, then Facing Left, his remarkable follow-up, is the dynamic delivery of that threat. While ostensibly working within a progressive post-bop tradition, this multitalented protege of saxophonist Greg Osby draws from so many different musical streams, explodes so many tired devices and plays with such focused ambition that it’s not only foolish to try categorizing his work, but it’s impossible not to view him as one of the most striking originals to emerge in jazz in years. With rare technical assurance and a bold sense of vision, Moran has made a record for the ages.

Supported with stunning intuition by bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, Moran is a man with a plan; each of the album’s 13 tunes operates with some kind of distinctive agenda or compositional gambit.

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