In the vein of rising kit-masters such as Kendrick Scott, Tyshawn Sorey and Allison Miller, Ferenc Nemeth represents the new breed of post-Art Blakey jazz drummers, ushering in their own bravado and confident leadership. Creating a name may not be Nemeth's primary thrust, but his reverberations cannot be denied on Gilfema
(Obliqsound, 2005) and Wheel of Time
(Fresh Sound, 2007), a joint effort with saxophonist Javier Vercher
The music heard on his auspicious debut, Night Songs
, is filled with memorable performances and stimulating music written for a sextet of seminal playersyoung leaders with passionwho are charting new terrains.
This is evident on each of the twelve pieces (all written by Nemeth, excluding a unique cover of the Wayne Shorter classic, "E.S.P ). There are the plush reed exchanges from saxophonists Mark Turner and Chris Cheek on "Raindance, the moonlit radiance of "A Night as pianist Aaron Parks and guitarist Lionel Loueke trade voices within the dance and the stunning bowed string solo by bassist John Patitucci on "Ballad For the Stars, a tune steeped with classical overtones developing into improvisations over the melody.
The group context is highlighted by interesting individual performances. The seemingly straight redo of "E.S.P is proof that Loueke is a guitarist who adds bright color to everything he touches with his augmented tones. Others moments include Turner's hauntingly expressive tenor solo on ''Vera and Patitucci's gutsy playing on every tune, proving why he is one of the top bass players around.
Nemeth's playing is the music's vitality; never overpowering, and marked by finesse (taps, shuffles, flurries) and omni-directional patterns, off of the beat, yet always in time. Even his extended solo on the opening piece "War... is unusual, inquisitive, and constantly in motion. His skill as a percussionist also comes to light on "Lullaby, recalling his homeland of Keszthely, Hungary, as he plays with fervent enthusiasm.
Personnel: Ferenc Nemeth: drums; Lionel Loueke: guitar; Chris Cheek: saxophones; Mark Turner: saxophones; Aaron Parks: piano; John Patitucci: bass guitar.