It’s to be said that I’m the kind of person who enjoys trying new things. One of these things is that lovely thing called beer. At this point in my drinking career I mostly do it now to try new brands of beer. I’m also a big fan of music and right now I’m pretty certain that when it comes to music I know within each genre I like and what I don’t like. Which makes for finding new music to listen to a tougher thing then finding new beer to drink. Tonight however I have both new beer to try and and music to listen to so I decided to start another series here on Death By Blunderbuss entitled: Nights of Beer and Music. I figure it will be a sort of freestyle review of both new beers and music that I come across and listen to at nights in my room.

Tonight I’m drinking Rouge’s Yellow Snow IPA and for music I’m going to be listen to Jazz Pianist Jason Moran’s “Ten”.

Right off on “Ten” I can tell that Jason Moran is a very skilled pianist and that his music is smooth/cool jazz at it’s best. As for the Yellow Snow it might as well be Yellow Snow because it has a very bitter taste to it. I’ve never really been a huge fan of India Pale Ale but I figured I would give the Yellow Snow a try, and also Rouge Ales have very cool designed bottles which is another reason I like trying new beers because I like to keep interesting bottles I come across.

Track #3 of “Ten” is a very interesting track, it’s entitled “Feedback Pt. 2” and under the brilliant piano playing is a loop of distorted microphone or maybe guitar like feed back which in my opinion is very distracting when you have such brilliant piano playing in the cool/smooth jazz sense of things. But I suppose given that this is modern jazz stuff like this is more prominent then it would have been in old school jazz.

If I was to describe the Yellow Snow IPA to me it would be like I was drinking a very bitter glass of orange juice, which I’m sure is from all the hops and spices the beer is brewed with. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to drink it at all but I have always enjoyed bitter tasting beer given that my all time favorite beer is Guinness which we all know is a bitter tasting beer.

Moving away from “Feedback Pt. 2”  track four is a cover by the legendary Thelonius Monk called “Crepuscule With Nellie” the song which I discovered Moran with. I heard it when I was checking out http://www.npr.org/music/ they had listed their top Jazz albums of 2010. I figured I’d give it a look because Modern Jazz is not really something that I’m big on but if there’s Jazz Pianists like Jason Moran out there then that may change.

“Study No. 6″ has a great drumming back beat in it to accompany Moran’s piano playing.

” Pas De Deux Lines Ballet”  is a haunting little piece of piano playing that shifts into cool jazz with the track that follows it which oddly is also called “Study No. 6”

“Gangsterism Over 10 Years” is a very fitting title because in this track the piano and drum playing picks up and the track is very lively and almost feels as if Moran and his drummer are rival gangs doing battle with one and other in the musicianship sense of things. I would have to say that this was my favorite track on the album next to Crepuscule With Nellie.

Even though I wasn’t throughly enjoying the “Yellow Snow” drinking it while listening to “Gangsterism” was defiantly nice and made me have thoughts of the Jazz clubs during the beatnik era, sitting at the bar with Kerouac, Cassady, and Ginsberg.

“Big Stuff” this track shows big range by Moran as his playing sprawls across the piano with amazing talent.

“Play to Live” and “The Subtle One” feature more brilliant smooth/cool Jazz by Moran with “The Subtle One” being more on the haunting sad side of things.

Perhaps because I’ve poured myself a few glasses at this point but now I’m really enjoying the “Yellow Snow”. This happens to me a lot when I’m drinking either a new beer or a beer that I initially did not like the taste of. I think it was the same way when I had my first Guinness that wasn’t in Irish Car Bomb form that is.

“The Bob Vatel of Paris”= Damn that Jason Moran can play a mean jazz piano!

“Old Babies”  closes out “Ten” and features possibly one Moran’s twin sons talking in baby talking over what we’ve heard all album long and that is amazing jazz piano.

So in closing I have to say that Jason Moran is the first modern jazz musician I have discovered that has become a Jazz favorite of mine. The only reason I can not give this album 5 out of 5 stars is because I feel that “Feedback Pt. 2” has no place on the rest of this amazing Jazz Piano album. “Bob Vatel” “Gangsterism” and “Crepuscule With Nellie” are sure to be staples on mix CDs (yes I still make mix CDs in this age of I-Pods and mp3 players) for years to come.

As for the “Yellow Snow” at the start the beer came off as very bitter to me and not in the good way like my all time favorite Guinness. But as I listened to some amazing Jazz Piano what tends to happen when I’m drinking a beer I don’t like the taste of at first, I got used to the after taste and in the end it came off as a decent little IPA. Still I don’t think IPA is a form of beer I’m truly a fan of but given that it grew on me I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 beer mugs.

 

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