Jason Moran And The Bandwagon: Live At The Village Vanguard The piano trio is known to deconstruct standards and assemble its pianist's mixed-media compositions in the same breath. Hear the band, led by its recent MacArthur Genius Grant winner, perform.

Jason Moran. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

toggle caption
John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com

Jason Moran.

John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com

Live At The Village Vanguard

Jason Moran And The BandwagonWBGO

Jason Moran and The Bandwagon in Concert at the Village Vanguard - 10/06/2010

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/130186558/130401736" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Observers of modern jazz have long known about the unique talents of composer and pianist Jason Moran. This fall, it's come into sharp relief that at age 35, he's already done an awful lot with them. Mostly with The Bandwagon, Moran's trio of 10 years, he has developed a deep repertoire of originals and innovative arrangements. The Bandwagon is behind the new Ten, his eighth album as a leader in 11 years. And, oh, yes: He was just surprised with a MacArthur Genius Grant, an award of $500,000 paid out over five years.

Moran and The Bandwagon continued their 10-year anniversary celebration with a week at the Village Vanguard, a venue which has been important to their development. WBGO and NPR Music teamed up to present a live broadcast, on air and online, on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Hear the archived recording above.

As is common in live performances from The Bandwagon, the set used Moran's minidisc player — the unofficial "fourth member" of the group — to spring song clips and other found sounds for the band to improvise over or respond to. An audio collage preceded opener "Another One," an old Mateen composition. "Feedback Pt. 2" featured Jimi Hendrix's feedback from the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. A cut-and-spliced field holler acted as a mantra to "Life Live Time." Trombonist Ben Gerstein's remix of songs from Black Stars, an early Moran album, segued into a live group improvisation. Tunes from Ten comprised much of the balance of the set list, including de- and reconstructed interpretations of pieces from Thelonious Monk, Conlon Nancarrow and Jaki Byard.

As a pianist, Moran is a distinctive stylist; he combines free improvisation, early jazz techniques and undercurrents of other contemporary music with more mainstream expressions. As a composer and arranger, Moran is an avid conceptualist, apt to deconstruct a jazz standard or assemble new tunes inspired by modern visual art or sampled sounds. Much of that development has come with The Bandwagon as his base; Tarus Mateen is an active, fluid electric bass player — and occasional vocalist, as demonstrated on "Crepuscule With Nellie" — while Nasheet Waits is a versatile modern-day drum hero.

Jason Moran graduated from the same Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts as many a talented jazzman, then matriculated to Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Jaki Byard, Andrew Hill and Muhal Richard Abrams. While still in college, he was invited into saxophonist Greg Osby's band; a few years later, he started making recordings as a leader. Ten years ago, The Bandwagon made its first recording; though they tour frequently, Moran and his band members also remain busy as sidemen.

Moran first played the Village Vanguard with Greg Osby's band in the late 1990s. As a leader, Moran has been playing with The Bandwagon in the West Village club for nearly all of the group's 10 years; in 2002, the group recorded a live album at the venue. For this run, he said he would feature songs from Ten, and also dig into some of the extensive repertoire he's accumulated.

Set List

  • "Another One" (Mateen)
  • "Blessing The Boats" (A.H. Moran)
  • "Feedback Pt. 2" (J. Moran)
  • "Blue Blocks" (J. Moran)
  • "Live Life Time" (J. Moran)
  • "Crepuscule With Nellie" (Monk)
  • "Improvisation on Black Stars [Ben Gerstein Remix]" (Moran/Gerstein)
  • "Study No. 6" (Nancarrow)
  • "To Bob Vatel Of Paris" (Byard)

Personnel

  • Jason Moran, piano
  • Tarus Mateen, electric bass
  • Nasheet Waits, drums

Credits

  • Josh Jackson, producer and host
  • David Tallacksen, mix engineer
  • Michael Downes, production assistant
  • Lara Pellegrinelli, moderator
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Sofia Rei NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Sofia Rei (Home) Concert

The Argentine singer-songwriter performed a three-song set from her Brooklyn apartment for Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST.

Labess NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Labess (Home) Concert

This Algerian and Canadian band recorded its Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST set from Colombia and France.

Cory Henry plays a holiday Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Cory Henry (Home) Concert

The former Snarky Puppy keyboardist and bandleader performs a special holiday Tiny Desk for our quarantine series.

Frans Schellekens/Redferns

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: Joe Zawinul And 50 Years Of Weather Report

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Hear an electric fusion set from keyboardist Joe Zawinul and The Zawinul Syndicate in concert from 2006. We also celebrate 50 years of Weather Report with co-founder Wayne Shorter and other alumni.

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: Joe Zawinul And 50 Years Of Weather Report

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/938653369/938664856" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring bassists Cachao, Andy González, and Charnett Moffett. Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: The History Of Latin Bass

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Hear the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra in 2006, with four virtuoso bassists: Rubén Rodríguez, Charnett Moffett, the late Andy González, and the mighty Cachao, two years before his death.

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: The History Of Latin Bass

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/928739116/928996441" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

GroundUP perform a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

GroundUP Family Dinner (Home) Concert

Gregory Porter, Brad Mehldau and Chris Potter all appear in this 18-musician Tiny Desk quarantine concert, organized by Snarky Puppy's Michael League.

Richard Termine/JALC

Swinging The Clouds Away: Jazz Takes Over Sesame Street

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

On this show, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis invite the Sesame Street gang onstage. Plus, trombonist Joe Fielder's Open Sesame share rare songs from the Sesame songbook.

Swinging The Clouds Away: Jazz Takes Over Sesame Street

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/926696577/926814693" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Nubya Garcia plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Nubya Garcia (Home) Concert

One of the British jazz scene's rising stars performs a quarantine concert on the River Thames.

Anat Cohen and Marcello Gonçalves play a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Anat Cohen And Marcello Gonçalves (Home) Concert

The Israeli clarinetist and Brazilian guitarist recorded this Tiny Desk quarantine performance in Rio de Janeiro.

Back To Top