All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

Roy Nathanson: Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
On saxophonist Roy Nathanson's 2009 disc Subway Moon (Yellowbird), he covers the R&B song "Love Train" a huge hit for The O'Jays in 1973. Nathanson's version was a relaxed take on the age old wish for world peace. By decelerating the music he accelerated the intimacy. He utilizes the same device on Nearness Of You, an album of duets and improvisations recorded with his friends and longtime playing partners during his 2015 residency at The Stone in New York.

Nathanson was a key player in the Downtown scene of the 1980s and 90s, performing with John Lurie's Lounge Lizards, Marc Ribot's Rootless Cosmopolitans, and in The Jazz Passengers, an outfit he founded with trombonist Curtis Fowlkes. With humor as his muse, he has charted a course of musicianship that pairs vaudeville with modern jazz. His most recent ensemble, Sotto Voce, has released three discs. The latest being Complicated Day (Enja, 2014), which combines text (often his poetry) with music.

The same intimacy permeates these duets. Reunited with Fowlkes, they mine some Jazz Passengers music with "Indian Club," picking up on their dialogue of the past thirty years. Saxophone and trombone call-and-respond, tangle-and-untangle. They move onto the theme of the session, Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You." Nathanson blows two saxophones over the trombone, before he moves to piano and Fowlkes sings (in sotto voce) the New Washington lyric. In true Nathanson form, the song title is transmogrified into "The Nearness Of Ewes," "The Nearness Of Youse," with Anthony Coleman "The Nearness Of Jews," and Myra Melford "The Nearness of You Too."

With each partner, there's a different sound. Pianist Arturo O'Farrell dresses Carla Bley's "Ida Lupino" as a melancholy gospel blues for Nathanson's alto to stretch and embellish. Marc Ribot's guitar acts as a deconstructing machine in their three improvised duos. "The Low Days" finds Nathanson on baritone saxophone rounding out the sharp edges Ribot produces. For many, the highlights here are the two pieces he performs with pianist Myra Melford. One, a tangled improvisation "What? Shoes?" and the other a lamenting cover version of "The Nearness Of You Too." Both pieces jump, skitter, and bounce notes between the players performing a stone's throw away from each other. The proximity is you.

Track Listing: The Nearness Of You; The Low Daze; Indian Club; What’s Left; The Nearness Of Ewes; The Nearness Of Youse; The Nearness Of Jews; What? Shoes?; Ludmilla’s Lament;

Personnel: Roy Nathanson: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, voice; Arturo O’Farrill: piano; Marc Ribot: acoustic guitar; Curtis Fowlkes: trombone, vocals; Anthony Coleman: piano; Myra Melford: piano; Lucy Hollier: trombone.

Title: Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations

Nearness And You,...

Clean Feed Records
2016

buy
Complicated Day

Complicated Day

ENJA - Yellowbird
2014

buy
 

Subway Moon

Enja Records
2010

buy
Subway Moon

Subway Moon

Enja Records
2009

buy
Sotto Voce

Sotto Voce

AUM Fidelity
2006

buy
Fire At Keaton's Bar & Grill

Fire At Keaton's Bar...

Six Degrees Records
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Pelagos" CD/LP/Track Review Pelagos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest" CD/LP/Track Review Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Joy Ride" CD/LP/Track Review Joy Ride
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "On Another Path" CD/LP/Track Review On Another Path
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 13, 2018