Jason Moran is Contemporary, Not Modern

by Woody on December 4, 2007

So, as it turns out, writing for a website is exceedingly difficult without access to the internet. Over the past few days I’ve been unable to connect to the wifi provided by my lovely upstairs neighbor “Mallory.” Whether this is because she actually found out I was “borrowing” it or its actually broken, I do not know. Regardless, I now find myself in a library, typing on the loudest keyboard ever manufactured, scrolling with a jumpy mouse, and worst of all, no speakers. Ironic too, is that in this time of heightened stress, I could really use some soothing music to quell my frustration with Mallory and her disappointing shared iTunes playlist.

If I could listen to music right now, I would listen to Jason Moran. Much like the words used to describe the MCA in it’s advertisements I find plastered on the eL trains in Chicago, Moran’s sound is “…Contemporary, Not Modern.” I would broadly classify Moran’s jazz as the same. While his sound is definitively jazz, there are added influence and themes that hint at something more. You’ll hear just as much Muddy Waters influence as Miles Davis; Buddy Guy as Thelonious Monk. Songs are seemingly structureless to the non-jazz trained ear (read: nearly everyone, including me), yet contain the atonal and arhythmic piano melodies of Bitches Brew and the gritty guitar riffs of Live at Newport. However, there seems to be a playfulness that other modern (theres that word again) jazz musicians seem to miss out on. Moran knows he’s playing jazz and therefore doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, just looks at it in new ways.

And while it might not be indie rock, americana, folk, or like most of the other music we discuss here at HearYa, it’s still amazing. Plus, I think we can all agree that fedoras rock.

Jason Moran – Snake Stance
Jason Moran – Jump Up

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Woody December 4, 2007 at 9:08 am

Even cooler than fedoras is the lovely looking lady standing behind Mr. Moran. Musically speaking, I am no jazz expert, but this is great music. Especially for the office.

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