Last night our family saw Jason Moran & the Bandwagon at DazzleJazz. What’s great about the Dazzle Showroom is that kids are allowed to attend the 7 PM shows. We’ve been bringing our daughter here to experience great music for almost all of her 11 years.
Jason and his trio are fantastic – individually and as a team they have an innovative and uniquely melodic style not to mention an energy that shook the house. On three arrangement they incorporated recorded narratives which became part of the composition as if there was a fourth player in the room.
What I liked most about Jason’s piano style was his ability to bring the fun and excitement of early jazz riffs from the Fats Waller days into now and beyond with a groove.
Bassist Tarus Mateen opened up expansive textures with his ability to layout the harmonic structure from the lowest to highest register in less than a blink.
Drummer Nasheet Waits’ dynamic responses were more than just in the moment – his ability to shift from complexity to simple grooves was fascinating to hear and watch.
A few years back, we had the opportunity to play the Forest Room 5. Over the course of that year we came to really appreciate the eclectic and totally inside-outside funkiness of this club. Owner Thomas Nesler created the environment one crazy piece at a time – and he never seems to stop. When we think of Thomas, we are reminded of Theolonius Monk – here’s our recording of Well You Needn’t. I’m sure our style evolved as result of playing the Forest Room 5.
We played the Boulder Theatre on two occasions. You can just feel all that great history of cinema, radio and live music of every genre. You just play your heart out in tribute to the legacy that came before.
The Jazz Barn is a passive solar straw bale structure in Scott Allen’s backyard. We’ve had so many great musical moments here – it’s where our democratic and free style has emerged. The idea for communicating freely without the boundaries of repeated structure is what this place means to me.