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Jason Moran and the Bandwagon at the Kennedy Center

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Monday February 11, 2013

from The Washington Post

Music review: Jason Moran and Bandwagon at the Kennedy Center
By Michael J. West

Jason Moran is a specialist in the field of jazz abstraction. The pianist and leader of the trio Bandwagon has a rich knowledge of the music’s history and context — part of the reason, no doubt, that he serves as the Kennedy Center’s artistic adviser for jazz. But Moran rarely reads it straight: He prefers to dissect, fragment, distill and subvert it.

That includes the music of pianist and composer Thomas “Fats” Waller, whose music is under ongoing investigation by Moran, who performs a live “Dance Party” of Waller’s tunes and is planning to record some of them with Bandwagon later this year.

On Saturday night, Moran offered samples of that project — and others — for a packed house at the Kennedy Center’s KC Jazz Club. Pulling from any number of angles, and punctuating the experiments with oddly edited audio clips, Moran nevertheless left one constant in place: a soulful, often danceable core.

To read the full review click here