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Kennedy Center Jazz: Greg Osby and Jason Moran

Pianist Jason Moran  

Pianist Jason Moran grew up in Houston, Texas, in a family where music and the arts were an important part of life. At the urging of pianist Jaki Byard, he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music. Byard, Muhal Richard Abrams and Andrew Hill -- three independent-minded and forward-thinking jazz pianists -- all became important mentors for Jason.

Pianist Jason Moran spent seven formative years in saxophonist Greg Osby's bandm making his his first recordings on Osby's 1997 album Further Ado. Osby returned the favor by producing Moran's solo debut, 1999's Soundtrack to Human Motion. Moran's current group is called "The Bandwagon," and features Tarus Mateen on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums.

Greg Osby has been in the forefront of innovative jazz since the 1980s. He was a founding member of the M-BASE collective in Brooklyn, which included fellow saxophonist Steve Coleman, vocalist Cassandra Wilson, and other restless musicians bent on experimentation.

Osby spent six years honing his sound in drummer Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition. His albums as a leader usually showcase his own compositions, but lately he's been exploring more familiar territory like "Shaw Nuff" by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Osby sees himself carrying on the tradition of those bandleaders in developing young musicians and preparing them for solo careers, and Jason Moran has Osby's most notable protogee.

The Greg Osby Four brings the saxophonist together with pianist Megumi Yonezawa, bassit Matt Brewer and drummer Eric McPherson.

SONG LIST
Jason Moran's Bandwagon
"Kinda Dukish/Black and Tan Fantasy" (D. Ellington/Duke Ellington Music/ASCAP)
"Body and Soul" (J. Green and E. Heyman/Quartet Music Inc/ASCAP)
"Too Much Sugar" (H. Threadgill/Dubra Publishing Co./ASCAP)

The Greg Osby Four
"This Song Is You" (O. Hammerstein and J. Kern/Universal Polygram International Publishing/ASCAP)
"Nature Boy (E. Ahbez/Golden World/ASCAP)
"Equalatogram" (G. Osby/Daigoro Music/SESAC)

RESOURCES

  • Jason Moran on the Web
  • Greg Osby on the Web

    CREDITS
    JazzSet's Technical Director Duke Markos did our live recording, with Greg Hartman and Chris Weal of Big Mo. Thanks to Derek Gordon and Kevin Struthers of the Kennedy Center.

    This show was written and produced by Mark Schramm, and mixed by Duke Markos, with help from Becca Pulliam and audio engineer Ginger Bruner of KUNV-FM, Las Vegas. Our executive producer is Thurston Briscoe the Third, of WBGO-FM in Newark.


    Copyright 2007 NPR