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Jason Moran portrait
Jazz pianist Jason Moran by Ari Marcopoulos

Jazz pianist Jason Moran by Ari Marcopoulos

The jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran was wrapping up three days of recording in Brooklyn when an angry mob of Trump supporters ambushed the U.S. Capitol. He put his phone down after reading the news and decided to get his project out immediately as a way to help the nation heal from its divisiveness.

“The Sound Will Tell You” is Moran’s latest musical collection featuring 12 songs released on Bandcamp four days ahead of its original Jan. 15 date. A MacArthur fellow, Moran named the songs after his favorite passages from works by Toni Morrison, which he has been revisiting while sheltering at home during the pandemic.

“I had to look for where the truth was going to be, and it lives in her books,” Moran said. “In novel form, she nails it — the best layering soul, vulnerability, history, challenge, regard and terror in her words. That’s what I wanted to go for, and the only way to get better at it is to read her words over and over again.”

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