Steve Nelson: Sound-Effect (2007)
Nelson contributes three compositions to the set. All are harmonically rich, melodically fervent and, best of all, unmistakably swinging. The opening "One Thin Dime is full of bluesy-type figures and rhythm section breaks. The familiar-sounding fare serves as the perfect medium-tempo, warm-up vehicle. By contrast, "Song for Tina, a cascading waltz with flowing lines and clustered chords, entices intense solos, fueled by Nash's limitless energy. Nelson's well-crafted ballad, "Sound Essence, lets the vibraphonist explore the full range of his instrument in a gentle, unhurried manner.
The remainder of the disc is comprised of a lyrical waltz, "Arioso, from the late pianist James Williams, and four standards. Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado, Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring and Ahmad Jamal's "Night Mist Blues give the disc a predictable, jam-session feel, elevated by exceptional performances and incomparable feel. The Dietz and Schwartz classic "You and the Night and the Music, a disc highlight, is taken as a no-nonsense chops-buster
It's hard to go wrong with a release like Sound-Effect. Nelson, Miller, Washington and Nash are at the top of their game, and play with unmatched passion and stamina. More original material would have been welcome, yet the result is a wonderful addition to the catalogue of a modern master.
Track Listing: One Thin Dime; Song For Tina; Desafinado; You and the Night and the Music; Night Mist Blues; Sound Essence; Up Jumped Spring; Arioso.
Personnel: Steve Nelson: vibraphone; Mulgrew Miller: piano; Peter Washington; Lewis Nash: drums.
Record Label: HighNote Records