Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"That the material hangs together so naturally is a testament to the trio's strength, its distinct and highly evolved improvisational approach... Moran has a way of finding oddball elegance in a huge variety of music, and his treatment of Conlon Nancarrow's "Study No. 6" shows an ability to reinvent a specific theme not once but twice." -All About Jazz
"A startlingly gifted pianist with a relentless thirst for experimentation, Moran returns to a trio format... the results are devastatingly sharp... "Ten" is an unpredictable, imaginative ride." -LA Times
"This is a product of sturdy intelligence and untroubled confidence driven by the inseparable commitment of Mr. Moran and his fellow Bandwagoneers, the drummer Nasheet Waits and the bassist Tarus Mateen. Their rapport, distinctive from the start, now suggests a model of lithe collectivism. Mr. Moran's piano forms the core of the group, but its sound is inconceivable without the thumbprints of Mr. Mateen, with his nimble, nubby bass guitar style, and Mr. Waits, with his earthy mutable approach to rhythm." -New York Times
JazzTimes (p.66) - "[I]t's Moran's pieces that prove the most striking on TEN, particularly the opening work 'Blue Blocks' and 'Play to Live'..."
Paste (magazine) - "Fueled by the expert bustle of his trio, he's given to expansive, sparkling showpieces; solo, he coaxes the still spaces between the notes into a cadence of their own."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.83) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] largely introspective post-bop set that includes a version of Thelonious Monk's 'Crepuscule With Nellie.'"
Personnel: Jason Moran (piano); Nasheet Waits (drums).
Audio Mixer: Sascha von Oertzen.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY.
Photographer: Clay Patrick McBride.
Jason Moran's 2010 effort Ten features more of the jazz pianist's smart and forward-thinking jazz. Backed by bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, Moran reveals himself once again to be a nimble improviser with an ear toward atmospheric and often fractured hypnotic post-bop jazz on tracks like the lilting "Blue Blocks" (commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and "RFK in the Land of Apartheid," along with ruminative numbers buoyed by the band's laid-back blues inflections and ever-so-subtle funk grooves. Other tracks, such as "Feedback Pt. 2" and "Old Babies," reveal Moran's more experimental edge, mixing sound effects and his son's voices with more straight-ahead jazz stylings that bring to mind both Thelonious Monk and Oscar Peterson. As always with Moran, there is a heavy classical influence, and compositions like his own "Pas de Deux -- Lines Ballet" and his rambunctious take on Leonard Bernstein's "Big Stuff" do evince, much like the rest of Ten, both a romantic and modernist point of view. ~ Matt Collar