136

Nathaniel Smith Quartet: Nathaniel Smith Quartet

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Nathaniel Smith Quartet: Nathaniel Smith Quartet Drummer Nathaniel Smith's music can be characterized as modern jazz that often finds serenity in searching, angular confines. Smith's quartet, which features rising star saxophone maverick Jon Irabagon, finds its way and brings these intriguing compositions to life without resorting to unnecessary fireworks.

Smith wrote five of the seven pieces here, and each one possesses admirable traits. "Daybreak And Then Dusk" starts things off, with Irabagon's swooning saxophone sliding over the group, but the followup, "Tortoise Pendant," is more memorable. Bassist Mark Anderson locks everything into place for this groove in eleven, guitarist Jostein Gulbrandsen provides some gleaming chordal work, and the piece ends with Irabagon and Gulbrandsen gleefully delivering dovetailing lines over one another.

Gulbrandsen's two compositional contributions show some contrast in his writing style. "Return Of The Bear" is built on twisty rhythms, with Irabagon heating things up during his solo, while "Tomorrow's Perfume" is a dreamy, sparsely populated piece. Smith's brushwork here, and his ability to conjure a variety of sounds out of his cymbals and off his kit, is remarkable and adds greatly to the aural atmosphere that the quartet creates.

A hip, understated groove underscores "Actionable Intelligence" and Irabagon is superb, in his most straightforward performance on the album. When he hands the baton over to Gulbrandsen, the guitarist comes in with a biting tone that only pops up on this track, and the rest of the rhythm section loosens up behind him. "Travishamockery" is blues filtered through Smith's modernist mind, and Gulbrandsen's soloing has a blues-jazz-fusion-country hybrid twang to it. Anderson steps out front as a featured soloist here, and Smith delivers some fine drum work when the solo trading begins.

The album closes with the buoyant "Shadow Puppet," which reaches its apex when Smith solos with accents that work against Anderson's established pulse. Once again, the Fresh Sound New Talent label has found an artist that perfectly reflects the ideals within its name.

Track Listing: Daybreak And Then Dusk; Tortoise Pendant; Return Of The Bear; Tomorrow's Perfume; Actionable Intelligence; Travishamockery; Shadow Puppet.

Personnel: Nathaniel Smith: drums; Jon Irabagon: saxophones; Mark Anderson: bass; Jostein Gulbrandsen: guitar.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Fake It Until You Make It" CD/LP/Track Review Fake It Until You Make It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Interesting" CD/LP/Track Review Interesting
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Roaring" CD/LP/Track Review Roaring
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Pastures" CD/LP/Track Review Pastures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!