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Jason Moran & the Bandwagon bridge the generation gap

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Thursday May 09, 2013

From The Los Angeles Times

Jason Moran & the Bandwagon bridge the generation gap
By Chris Barton

It says something about the capacity for invention displayed by pianist Jason Moran that it was almost a disappointment to see him taking the stage Tuesday night joined “only” by his band the Bandwagon at a show presented by the Jazz Bakery. Granted, the New York City-based Moran is already appointment viewing for jazz fans given his mountains of acclaim and how rarely he ventures west (Moran performed solo at the Hammer Museum in 2011 but estimated it had been 10 years since his band last played L.A.).

Yet the pianist nearly upstaged himself with two audacious shows at the new SFJAZZ Center last weekend that found him improvising alongside a ramp full of skateboarders. The unexpected juxtaposition of two creative forms became one of the most buzzed-about shows of the year.

Anyone familiar with the 38-year-old pianist had to know that Moran would still have plenty of high-flying tricks of his own Tuesday. Taking the stage at the Musicians Institute’s cavernous performance space, the group showed why it’s one of the most arresting piano trios today with a show that tapped a number of sources at jazz’s roots and incorporated daring new moves that pushed its sound into the future.

To read the full review click here