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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
Roy Nathanson has always been a storyteller. In the late 1980s, his band with Curtis Fowlkes, called the Jazz Passengers, echoed the voices he heard from his New York streets. Deranged and Decomposed and Broken Night/Red Light, both nearly impossible to find recordings, spoke of multi-ethnic ramblings, preachers, and strange drugs. Nathanson also wrote music for performance artist David Cale, accenting his tales. Later work with the Lounge Lizards and the nineties reincarnation of the Jazz Passengers with vocalist Debbie ...read more