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by Budd Kopman
The inspiration for jazz composition and improvisation can come from almost anywhere. For guitarist/composer Richard Nelson it was American roots music that he played with his then 12-year-old son who had developed an intense connection to the old tunes and players. The jazz suite Deep River is the result of experiencing this music with extra intensity through his son and then translating that energy to composing. Nelson has been associated with Mark Harvey's long existing (40+ ...read more
by Jack Bowers
If the name of this new CD by guitarist Richard Nelson and Boston's intrepid Aardvark Jazz Orchestra sounds familiar, that's because it is the same as a spiritual of unknown origin that has been sung for perhaps hundreds of years in churches and other venues and recorded a number of times in films, once by the legendary singer / actor Paul Robeson. What is less customary is composer / arranger Nelson's progressive approach to the music of days gone by ...read more
by Dave Wayne
Brooding, ECM-like soundscapes and thick, tense harmonies predominate on Pursuit, from Maine-based guitarist Richard Nelson. A student of avant-garde composers Donald Erb and Mario Davidovsky, and a core member of Mark Harvey's Boston- based Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Nelson takes a few cues from these experiences, and adds more than a few of his own, to come up with a distinctive synthesis of modern jazz, and contemporary orchestral music.Not surprisingly, Nelson is an ambitious and daring composer and there's ...read more