Ted Nash, Taylor Eigsti, Sax Summit




Time Out Take Five lets Glide contributor Doug Collette takes a pick at five recent jazz releases,

Sax Summit: Lovano-Liebman-Coltrane/ Seraphic Light (Telarc)***1/2:
Not the blistering outing of the original but rather a more stately tribute to the missing member of lineup as originally constituted Michael Brecker, here replaced by. As befits the cover image, feathery flute textures supplied by Ravi Coltrane, combined with a temperate pace, make this a tranquil means of discerning how splendid musicians—here including trumpeter Randy Brecker and drummer Billy Hart—find the means to enact dialogues of deep thought and emotion.


Taylor Eigsti/Let It Come to You
(Concord): What begins as a trip back in time to the halcyon days of jazz in the fifties gradually morphs into a modern day suite that constitutes a vivid reflection on the artist’s rite of passage. Eigsti’s is the work of an ambitious, practiced musician and if the vibrant nature of all this music doesn’t convince you of his credibility, check the list of well-wrought covers:  Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Pat Metheny. And Joshua Redman lights up a cut here as well.

Michael Moore & Fred Hersch/ This We Know (Palmetto)***1/2: The fascination that arises from the Moore/Hersch album derives from hearing two musicians interact. Clichés abound about musical conversations, but recall any naturally empathetic interaction with an old friend, new acquaintance or perfect stranger in which you echo each other’s respective thoughts, anticipate forthcoming threads of conversation, finish and begin each other’s sentences etc: Moore and Hersch do it all with their instruments.
This five-year old recording of clarinet, alto sax and acoustic piano reminds not just how difficult it is to play music well, but how that becomes readily discernible when hearing just a pair of players in action.

Ted Nash/The Mancini Project (Palmetto)***1/2: While this title may invite preconceptions about Hollywood soundtrack music, the lean straightforward approach employed by saxophonist Ted Nash and his trio belies them. His father and uncle both members of The Mancini Orchestra in its peak years, the leader has an emotional connection to the music here that substitutes genuine sentiment for saccharine sentimentality. Meanwhile, the saxophonist and his rhythm section segue from one tune to another without interruption in a flow of ideas that reminds of an essential truth of jazz: good players love a good melody because it holds such potential for provocative improvisation.

Samuel Blaser Quartet/ 7th Heaven (Challenge Records)***: Abstract at points to be sure, this disc nevertheless still conjures the intimate atmosphere of a good jazz club late night, due to the presence of Scott Dubois’ guitar. But the group as a whole swings and they do it in such subtle fashion, moving in and out of (comparatively strong) rhythmic intervals, hearing this disc all the way through, challenging though that may be, is nevertheless remarkably satisfying.

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