Ten (Blue Note Records)
A number of the pieces on Ten were originally commissioned for concerts/exhibitions over the last few years. So its nice to hear some of this material for the first time on disc. "Feedback Pt.2" is one of those pieces and has loads of atmospheric effects mixed with Moran's classical side reminiscent of his material on the highly acclaimed Modernistic album. Moran also tackles one of his influences with an incredible reworking of "Crepusucle With Nellie" which for me makes this album worth owning out right.
Another standout is "Play To Live" a number co-written with the late Andrew Hill, another major influence (outside of Monk) on Moran's playing. It's a quiet and emotional piece that really brings home the power of Moran and his trio. "Gangsterism Over Ten Years" follows in the footsteps of a previous number from Modernistic with complexed arrangements yet pulsating and accessible all at the same time.
Ten is a brilliant celebration but also is a shinning document and statement as to why Jason Moran stands apart from all other piano players of his generation. It's engaging, challenging and creatively far and away from any of other piano based album you'll hear all year. One of the years best albums is our listening room.