Jason Moran Takes on the Myths of Fats Waller

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Thursday May 31, 2012

From The Chicago Tribune

Jason Moran takes on the myths of Fats Waller
By: Howard Reich

If Fats Waller is remembered at all by the public at large these days, it’s as a caricature, with bug-eyes wide open, cigarette dangling from lip and eyebrows perpetually bobbing underneath a derby hat as he hams it up at the keys.

But connoisseurs know that Waller stands as a colossal figure in the early history of jazz piano, a pioneering virtuoso as well as a formidable organist, master songwriter and charismatic singer.

Getting the world to understand the genius behind the fa├žade is not easy, but pianist Jason Moran will be attempting something of the kind Friday night in Orchestra Hall. For “Jason Moran & the Bandwagon Remix the Music of Fats Waller With Special Guests” will give listeners a chance to assess Waller’s achievements outside the stereotypes that still hover around him.

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