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Volume 68, Issue 105, Thursday, February 27, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Moran set to jazz up Cullen Theatre

By Chris Goodier
The Daily Cougar

Houstonis prodigal pianist Jason Moran returns Friday night with his trio Bandwagon and jazz legend Sam Rivers. 

The High School for the Performing Arts graduate sails in on Blue Note Records trade winds after being lauded as the strongest young force in jazz today. 

A listen to the 2001 release featuring this weekendis foursome titled Black Stars, confirms New York Times accolades of "some of the best live jazz around now."

On their album, bassists Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits create heaving hip-hop rhythms and risky bebop sounds. The album also features a funkafied version of Chopinis "B flat minor piano concerto" backed up by Sam Riveris saxophone. Track by track, the album shatters into free verse and then reconstructs itself. 

Blue Noteis deal with Moran at the age of 22 shows the patriarchal labelis faith in the budding young prodigy. 

And Jason (nicknamed Jamo) comes from strong jazz roots. Turned on by Monk around the age of six, Jamois studies enabled entrance into the Manhattan School of Music. 

It was as a senior that distinguished saxophonist Greg Osby hired the pianist solely on word of mouth credentials for a European tour. Finding his own distinct voice under the wing of piano master Jaki Byard, Jamo launched his chart topping flight to grace Downbeat magazine covers and toast the Guinness Rising Star Award. 

Fortunately, this local boy-done-good isnit skipping the Bayou City (the previous gig is in Manhattan) on a transcontinental tour in support of his fourth release. 

Avant-garde icon Sam Rivers is no stranger to Houston either. With the support of the Pauline Oliveros Foundation of Houston, Rivers conducted a workshop for inner city kids last April. 

"I try to pick people who might have an interesting approach in teaching", comments POFH Director David Dove, "not just good musicians." 

Riversis catalogue of work includes the names of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Dave Holland. His unusual approach shines in Jamois <I>Black Stars<P> LP, with an airy bamboo sounding flute that has Asian underpinnings.

Da Camera of Houston will play host to Jason Moran with Bandwagon and Sam Rivers, as part of a series in honor of their 25th anniversary. The performance starts at 8 p.m. on the Cullen Theatre stage of the Wortham Theater Center. Tickets start at $25. Contact www.dacamera.com for details.
 Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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