Imagine a diary with no words.
Inspired by saxophonist Tivon Pennicott’s experiences from relocating to New York City in late 2009, Lover of Nature is exactly that; each composition is a soundtrack to a day in the life, a cinematic overview of what was. Given that there are no lyrics, the music is open to interpretation although Pennicott has revealed their origins. It’s actually better not knowing; letting one’s imagination soar through the skies can actually deepen the relationship between music and the open-minded ear.
Assembled here with his band Sound Quartet—in addition to Pennicott, featuring pianist Mike Battaglia, bassist Spencer Murphy, and drummer Kenneth Salters—he has produced a collection of varying moods and compelling styles. The Quartet is a tight unit that can give off rhythmic sparks, as on “Translated,” wherein Pennicott’s sprightly sax rides a scorching groove with Battaglia’s punchy piano and Murphy’s hypnotic bass.
The soothing air of “Never Been” is an invigorating reminder that spring is near. Pennicott’s saxophone has a romantic vibe to it here; it is sweet to listen to, like drinking warm honey. The serene beauty that characterizes the beginning of “No Dream” intensifies with a blistering performance from Pennicott; it is red hot.
This is an outstanding record from a two-time Grammy winner.