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BOOK REVIEWS

Subway Moon

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Subway Moon Roy Nathanson Soft cover; 134 pages ISBN 978-3-00-025376-8 Buddy's Knife 2009

Poetry, like music, is about movement. Both art forms move from one note, or word, to another, trying to catch the essence of the moment. Saxophonist and composer Roy Nathanson has long worked with both words and music, sometimes uniting the two as he did on Sotto Voce (Aum Fidelity, 2006). Subway Moon, however, represents the first comprehensive overview of Nathanson's work as a poet. The work derives much of its fascination from the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Subway Moon

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If the expression “renaissance musician" existed in the dictionary, it would probably show a picture of saxophonist Roy Nathanson. The leader of the Jazz Passengers has undergone numerous artistic rebirths throughout his career as a member of The Lounge Lizards, performing with Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello, and Marc Ribot, composing for film and theater, acting, teaching, and even hosting a radio drama. He also holds a degree in poetry, which is put to splendid use on Subway Moon. Inspired by his daily commutes on New York's subway, this release is Nathanson's observations of people, transportation and life, articulated through music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Subway Moon

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Subway Moon, alto saxophonist Roy Nathanson's ambitious new album of jazz and spoken word, defies easy categorization. It mixes an accessible brand of avant-garde jazz with R&B, hip hop, Jewish music and multi-vocal harmonies; poignant biographical revelations with humorous observations of urban life; high-art concept with a gritty New York street sensibility. This eclecticism should come as no surprise to those who've followed the co-founder of the playfully experimental Jazz Passengers through his collaborations with Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry and his forays into film, theater and poetry. With the exception of a tender doowop reading of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2008: Day 6 - Finale

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Lewis Barnes' Hampton Roads Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure's Deep Sahara William Parker's Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield

Vision Festival 2008Clemente Soto Velez Cultural CenterNew York City Day 6: Festival Wrap-Up

Sunday evening's bill was perhaps one of the most tangible manifestations of the slightly more diverse roster than usual for the Vision Festival, with a tip of the hat in the direction of more accessible ...

INTERVIEWS

Roy Nathanson: Auditory Circus

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Saxophonist Roy Nathanson was in one of the earliest versions of The Lounge Lizards, which he left to found The Jazz Passengers, a group that slowly morphed into his new ensemble, Sotto Voce. In between he also co-led a duo with keyboardist and composer, Anthony Coleman and released, among others, the ground-breaking album I Could've Been a Drum (Tzadik, 1997).

As an independent composer he also scored the work of monologue artist, David Cole. He also scored music for several PBS programs and even wrote children's songs for the HBO series, Happily Ever After. All the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Sotto Voce

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The Italian term selected by saxophonist Roy Nathanson as the title of his latest CD connotes a hushing of sung or spoken tones, a deceptive name for a recording with so many worthwhile things to say. On Sotto Voce, the Jazz Passengers co-founder leads an idiosyncratic five-piece through an unholy hodgepodge of pop, post bop, hip-hop and poetry. The unusual mixture succeeds on account of the album's democratic approach, which renders soloistic virtuosity secondary to an overall group concept.

Enlisted by Nathanson are two fellow Jazz Passengers, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and violinist Sam Bardfeld. Both players recompense for the absence ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Sotto Voce

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An intriguing combination of spoken word, multipart vocal harmonies and adventurous instrumental jazz with a surprising rhythmic twist, Sotto Voce is not unprecedented in saxophonist/composer Roy Nathanson's discography. With trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, Nathanson is co-founder of the long running Jazz Passengers, those erstwhile guardians of postmodern irreverence. Their career over the past decade has found them reinventing the role of vocals in jazz. Beginning with 1994's In Love, which featured a slew of guest vocalists, including further collaborations with Deborah Harry and Elvis Costello, Nathanson's crew has pushed the art of contemporary jazz singing beyond mere nostalgia.

Nathanson ...



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