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Jason Moran: Staged Vinyl Album

Jason Moran: Staged Vinyl Album

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Three recordings written, produced & performed by Jason Moran

Created for the Venice Biennale 2015
Pressed on heavyweight 180-gram black vinyl
Cover and inner sleeve artwork by the artist
Limited edition of 300 copies

Jazz pianist, composer, and performance artist Jason Moran was born in Houston, TX in 1975 and earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Jaki Byard. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010 and is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. Moran currently teaches at the New England Conservatory.

Moran’s rich and varied body of work is actively shaping the current and future landscape of jazz. He is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language, and his extensive efforts in composition, improvisation, and performance are all geared towards challenging the status quo while respecting the accomplishments of his predecessors. His activity stretches beyond the many recordings and performances with masters of the form including Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, and the late Sam Rivers, and his work with his trio The Bandwagon (with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Tarus Mateen) has resulted in a profound discography for Blue Note Records. The scope of Moran’s partnerships and music-making with venerated and iconic visual artists is extensive. He has collaborated with such major figures as Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Stan Douglas, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker; commissioning institutions of Moran’s work include the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Dia Art Foundation, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

In 2015, Moran exhibited the first of his “set” sculptures, STAGED: Savoy Ballroom I and STAGED: Three Deuces, at the Venice Biennale. Engaging directly with history, Moran’s “sets” explore African American musical history, space, and the sites of two famous jazz venues in New York, the Savoy Ballroom and Three Deuces. Moran’s set for the Savoy replicated the scalloped curved wall bandstand with Vlisco Dutch wax fabric. The Three Deuces set included a corner with the venue’s signature padded walls. Each set represents jazz as both an architectural environment, a cultural phenomenon, and a response to racism and Jim Crow–era politics that made these segregated and integrated spaces necessary. During the Biennale, Moran and his band, the Bandwagon, performed Work Songs which sampled audio from Angola Prison work songs, exploring the roots of the genre and the creation of jazz. In 2018, Moran’s first solo museum exhibition was held at the Walker Art Center. The exhibition included excerpts from his collaborations with visual and performance artists, works on paper, the two of the STAGED sets as well as a newly commissioned work, STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon. Unlike Savoy and Three Deuces, Slugs’ and Slugs’ Saloon are not architecturally unique. STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon features sawdust and winged mirrors to replicate the narrow space of the original venue.

Vinyl Tracklist:

Side A
He Cares

Side B
Sharp Works
All Hammers and Chains

Released by The Vinyl Factory, 2015. In collaboration with Luhring Augustine, New York.

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