6

Nick Finzer: Hear & Now

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
New York-based trombonist Nick Finzer has benefited from mentorships under trombone masters Wycliffe Gordon and Steve Turre; but his third CD release, Hear And Now also brings the original trombones master, J.J. Johnson to mind. One of Johnson's last CDs, the minor masterpiece, Heroes (Verve Records, 1995), featured a sextet configuration with an enormously-talented pianist, Renee Rosnes, in the mix. Hear & Now is a sextet outing with an up-and-coming, unlimited potential talent, Glenn Zaleski, sitting in front of the eighty-eights. Both the albums are filled with cerebral-yet-always engaging tunes, all of them very artfully arranged—Johnson was a master at that craft. It seems that Nick Finzer is developing on a b-line in that direction.

On a nine tune set, featuring eight Finzer originals, along with Duke Ellington's "Single Petal Of A Rose," everything from the opener—the propulsive barn burner, "We the People," through to the dreamily gorgeous closer "Love Wins"—comes wrapped in often delicate, always intricate arrangements, featuring snappy interplay and back and forth harmonics between Zaleski's piano and Alex Wintz' guitar; with intimate conversations between the leader's muscular notes and Lucas Pino's searing tenor sax and his mellifluously beautiful bass clarinet work; all of this anchored by the solid yet-flexible bass/drums team of, respectively, Dave Baron and Jimmy Macbride.

The sextet broods in dark tones on "The Silent One." The music is, in part, Finzer's reaction to America's social framework, to events transpiring here and now. This tune changes directions and tempos; Pino's saxophone lets loose and anguished cry; Baron and MacBride churn up a disconcerting turbulence, before Finzer and Pino harmonize into a soothing—or perhaps slightly exhausted by the whole affair (the framework, not the music)—conclusion.

The group's take on Ellington's "The Single Petal of a Rose," from the under recognized "The Queen's Suite," is a idiosyncratic examination of one of Duke's most beautiful tunes, with Zaleski displaying a light, floating touch on the piano, and Finzer and Pino (on bass clarinet here) sounding as if they'd fit into Ellington's orchestra, from any era.

Finzer has crafted a complex showcase for his vision throughout the set, with music that goes moves from the timelessness of Ellington into more modern territory as it lays down an unsettled feeling with "Again And Again," into the frenetic, wired tight "Race To the Bottom."

As for Finzer, it sounds as if he may be on track toward a race to the top, as much as an arranger/composer/conceptualist as he is a trombonist.

Track Listing: We the People; The Silent One; Single Petal of a Rose; Again and Again; Race to the Bottom; New Beginnings; Lullaby for an Old Friend; Dance of Persistence; Love Wins.

Personnel: Nick Finzer: trombone; Lucas Pino: tenor sax, bass clarinet; Alex Wintz: guitar; Glenn Zaleski: piano; Dave Baron: drums; Jimmy MacBride: drums.

Title: Hear & Now | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Outside In Music

About Nick Finzer
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Watch

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read Cause and Effect
Cause and Effect
By Ian Patterson
Read Geschmacksarbeit
Geschmacksarbeit
By John Eyles
Read Emergence
Emergence
By Geannine Reid
Read Never More Here
Never More Here
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Lanzarote
Lanzarote
By Gareth Thompson
Read Strong Thing
Strong Thing
By Geannine Reid
Read Ocean in a Drop
Ocean in a Drop
By Geno Thackara