Here, Scotsman, Nigel Clark utilizes a nylon string acoustic guitar for a series of predominately up-tempo standards and original compositions. Besides being influenced by the great Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt - the artist rounds out his overall attack with rippling single note leads, and classically tinged, flamenco-style expressionism. Clark also utilizes space and depth in concert with his band’s lightly swinging tempo on Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance.” Whereas, the guitarist renders blazingly fast, yet concisely stated lines atop a peppery samba groove during his composition titled, “Sakura Samba.” However, the musicians perpetuate an open-air like environment on, “Island Dance,” where the leader harmonizes with bassist, Ewen Vernal amid complexly stated passages and the rhythm sections’ oscillating swing groove. Otherwise, Clark tempers the generally vibrant proceedings with a few nicely arranged ballads.
A guitarist who has performed with a variety of European notables, spanning multiple genres, Clark demonstrates his eloquent phraseology and near supersonic speed throughout this altogether attractive program. Simply put, Clark is a facilitator of fine jazz music via his awe-inspiring technique, graceful mode of execution and mood-evoking sensibilities. Recommended.