NIA Quintet: End of Time (2005)
Whether the band is slashing and dashing through post bop numbers comprised of flashy maneuvers and zippy horn charts or delivering soulful ballads, these pieces impart a sustainable impression. On "End of Time, Daniel Nicholson renders a stirring tenor sax solo to offset a sanguine melody line and Vaitsas' zesty blues-gospel piano phrasings. And the band mixes it up rather nicely by navigating through variable swing pulses, abetted by the hornists' cheery unison choruses.
The musicians toss a few unexpected curves into the production, as witnessed on the final two pieces, where Anderson sits at the piano for a tender recital, followed by a haunting duet motif by Anderson (flugelhorn) and Nicholson (alto flute). But the quintet's forthright mission of execution, substantiated by unwavering commitment, delivers the winning edge.
Track Listing: Second Chance; Movement; Bellamy's Dance; Where I Stand; About You; End Of Time; Once More; Half-Way; Past, Present, Future; Gelfing's Parable.
Personnel: Scott Anderson: trumpet, flugelhorn, solo piano (9); Daniel Nicholson: saxophones, alto flute (10); Tom Vaitsas: piano, Fender Rhodes (7); Patrick Williams: bass; Greg Wyser-Pratte: drums.
Record Label: Blujazz Productions