Each time I write a set of Music Diary reviews I try to find a clip of the artists actually playing music from the recording live. Typically what you find on YouTube is a single song, often of questionable quality – that is if you can find any live recordings at all. So I was thrilled today to find via anthat a music festival from earlier this year had released some full concert videos, with great
Even better is that that two featured artists were ones I had written about in this Music Diary review round-up: Jason Moran and The Bad Plus, two of the premier piano trio groups working today. The recordings are from the held on September 11, 2010 in northern Virginia just outside of Washington D.C.
So let’s get straight to the music! Here is Jason Moran and the Bandwagon
Here is what I said about Jason Moran’s Ten:
Having the same trio for a decade allows for am amazing level of communication and interplay, which is evident throughout. It has been more than four years since the last record, but during that time Moran has been contributing to soundtracks and other commissioned works, which resurface here in one form or other. If there is one phrase I use often to describe younger artists I like, it is ‘looking steadfastly forward while maintaining a clear view of the past’. And that would perfectly describe this recording – not his best work nor the greatest at the pinnacle of 2010?s recordings, Ten is an excellent effort that I have enjoyed and listened to often since it arrived a few months back.
And here is The Bad Plus:
I was less enamored of The Bad Plus recording Never Stop, but the group is simply amazing in live performance:
The Bad Plus has had a bit of an identity crisis since its inception – are they essentially a ‘jazz piano power trio’. They are definitely a piano trio playing in a modern jazz style, yet they made a name for themselves as a rock song cover band who play very aggressively in a ‘power trio’ style. Their most popular recording, These are the Vistas, had only three cover songs – yet that was what drew the most attention. Throughout the years since they have balanced their recordings with a combination of originals and cover songs, with the covers always garnering more attention. Never Stop is their first all-original effort.
I hope that if you enjoyed any of the clips from the reviews, or even sampled the music, that you check these out. Both of these groups are amazing to listen to live, and exemplify why seeing jazz live is such a great experience. You don’t have big stage shows and bombast, you have amazingly talented musicians communicating at a profound level with one another and producing great music that might spring from the same core composition yet is unique each night and every time you hear them play.