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The Bandwagon Live

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, August 19, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Jason Moran is his name, interconnectedness is his game and never has the young piano virtuoso played it more rapturously than on The Bandwagon. Leading his wondrously attuned trio before a live audience at New York's hallowed Village Vanguard, Moran cuts and pastes styles and genres like a man possessed. You've heard of artists who exist "in the moment." Moran is so attuned to it--rhythmically, melodically, linguistically even, setting one tune to the cadences of a Turkish woman talking on the phone woman--you can almost hear his fingernails clinging to the edge. Providing a glossary of modern and pre-modern jazz styles and bridging them to Schubert, to hip-hop, to movie themes, he and his mates, bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, aren't shy about slowing things down in the name of romance. Even when lulling the senses, though, this stuff grabs. --Lloyd Sachs
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 19, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B0000A5BS9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,724 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jan P. Dennis on November 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Bud Powell, Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, Nat "King" Cole, Thelonius Monk, Mal Waldron, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Ahmad Jamal, Abdullah Ibrahim: Dare we put Jason Moran in such company?
Yes, a resounding yes!!
Along with peers Jean-Michel Pilc, Danilo Perez, and Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran has staked out territory that puts him not only at the very top of the contemporary jazz-pianist sweepstakes, but among the essential players to have ever taken up the instrument.
Bandwagon, his latest, a live disc recorded at New York's Village Vanguard, is a thoroughly remarkable performance. Perhaps the most startling cut, "Ringing My Phone," featuring a "soundtrack" of a phone conversation in Turkish (playfully subtitled "Straight Outta Istambul") transformed into a musical statement that faithfully retains the voice-timbre of the Turkish speaker, nimbly matching on piano the sing-song nature of the speaker's voice, brilliantly documents Moran's highwire approach to both his instrument and his group conception. Some reviewers have carped about the gimmicky nature of such an endeavor. I don't agree. Yes, there's an unequivocable quirkiness about such an approach, but if it's pulled off--as it is, brilliantly, to these ears--why grouse?
The rest of the disc, gloriously recorded in such a way as to entirely capture the vibrancy of the monster group interaction, as well as the both the fullness of the leader's pianistic dynamism and the clarity of the unique instrumental voices of this most accomplished trio, lives up to the impossibly high standard set by "Ringing My Phone."
If you want to hear modern jazz at its most daring, do not hesitate to pick up this disc.
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Format: Audio CD
This serving by Jason Moran's piano trio adds to the already accomplished work in 'Black Stars' and 'Facing Left'.With 'Bandwagon' Moran submits his recipe for the Trailmix to the Village Vanguard crowd..a live performance that culminates in a prayer for a planet that rocks and this is a trio that rocks together;Jason's piano,Nasheet Waits' drums and Tarus Mateen's acoustic eletric bass producing a bowl of sound of subtle taste and ingenuity.Moran opens up solo on his 'cover' of Brahms'Intermezzo.Op 118,No.2 and then Mateen's bass and Waits drums are slowly drawn in....the slow simmering of the trio here adding intricate mellow tastes to Mateen's spiced starter 'Another One'.The Intermezzzo is followed by two extraordinary pieces,the first Moran's 'Ringing My Phone' which has marvellous interplay with the vocals from the Turkish singer Ahu Gural,then Jaki Byard's 'Out Front' in which Moran scatters the notes all over the kosmos winds them back in with some foot stomping bars and then eases you back down before breaking out for the sudden end...where you arrive is definitely not where you started out.The History Lesson 'Gentle Shifts South',already recorded a couple of times earlier,this time has Jason's piano with the voices of Andrew and Claudia Moran and Bennie Ruth Chester reminiscing about old friends and recalling their names.This is a beautiful atmospheric piece...you're there in the room with them, then the applause from the audience breaks the spell that's been woven.Later there's a fine cover of 'Body and Soul' and finally the gig ends,as it did at the London Jazz Festival,with the powerhouse 'Planet Rocks' which starts out as a march and then takes off with Naits' polyrhythmic drumming ...echoes of Tony Williams on Miles Davis's Quintet.This is Moran's masterpiece...infinitely rewarding.
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Format: Audio CD
I had not liked Jason Moran's studio work leading up to this CD but I was surprised to find that I really loved the performances captured at this Village Vanguard gig. But did Blue Note Records honestly expect that buyers in the year 2004 would accept such atrocious sound quality? I have heard bootlegs of ancient rock gigs from the 1960's sound better than this. Bruce Lundvall and his team need to put out another live CD of Jason's work and put some money into a decent recording. It is tragic to hear such a great performance foisted on the public with such appalling sound quality. Messrs Lion and Wolf would be embarrassed Bruce, if they knew you had done this.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw this guy with Greg Osby last year at the NJPAC in Newark, and I was absolutely blown away. Effortlessly, he made the highly touted Osby sound utterly dull by comparison, as the trio Moran pounded away with Matten steady on the bass and a virtouso Nasheet Waits on drums. The Bandwagon played mostly stuff off this album, an album I highly recommend.
However, as good as it is, the album does not do justice to seeing Moran live. It is, quite simply, astonishing. If you think "Ringing My Phone" is a groundbreaking masterpiece as heard on the CD, I can assure you that seeing it performed live (before I had ever heard it before) was among the most exhilarating experiences *of my entire life*. For you hardcore Moran fans out there, do yourself a favor and get tickets to his next show pronto.
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Format: Audio CD
Jazz is blessed with an incredible array of talent now, and it's a pity that the marketplace is so tuned in to the ephemeral. So many young lions and seasoned veterans are making the music of their careers that it is somehow culturally criminal that America, and most of the rest of the world, is stuck in navel gazing, be it Beyonce, Shania or whoever this year's model is.
With regard to Jason Moran, you could make a strong, very strong , argument that jazz is presented with its most creative and philosophical thinker since Thelonius Monk. All of his CDs are genuinely satisfying to the soul, the mind, the spirit, and there's always something for the trunk as well. This current CD takes his extraordinary high standards of excellence up a notch. A huge notch!
Recorded live at the Village Vanguard (a place that seems to pull genius out of artists), except for one taped and looped Turkish phone call, Moran and his mates deliver an unparalleled, exciting set. Visiting standards, original compositions, the mix of found sounds a la Holgar Czukay (remember "Persian Love Song" from MUSIC AND RHYTHM on RealWorld records from the early 80's?), Brahms, and Afrika Bambaata, it is an absolute wonder how he has re-considered, dwellt poetically, uncovered a ground of truth about Music itself in this brilliant display of the Buddhist sense of Interbeing. The interlocking grooves, polyrythms and dynamics will have you hitting replay loads of times.
This is a CD that will be written about for generations, much like Evans, Coltrane and so many others who somehow found a path beyond themselves opening up in the live setting of the Vanguard. By all means purchase this, it is a work of wonder, and when is the last time you can say you were honestly wonder-struck by a recording?
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