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Album of the Year: Jason Moran - All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller

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Monday December 22, 2014

From The Arts Desk

Album of the Year: Jason Moran – All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller
A brilliant recasting of the Harlem stride master’s music

By Peter Quinn

Pianist Jason Moran’s Grammy-nominated tribute to the legendary pianist, singer and composer, Fats Waller, effortlessly captures the joyousness and melodic beauty of the Harlem stride master’s music. Joining Moran is vocalist Meshell Ndegeocello, and from the über-slow jam of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” to the utterly seductive grooves of “The Joint Is Jumpin” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, the kind of galvanic presence that she brings to the project takes the material to entirely new emotional places. There are coruscating instrumentals, too, including a barnstorming solo spot for Moran on “Handful Of Keys”. Featuring guest sax player Steve Lehman, “Jitterbug Waltz”, on the other hand, is transformed into a sumptuous reverie in common time.

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