3

Nick DePinna: Nexus Music Vol. 1

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Nick DePinna: Nexus Music Vol. 1
Los Angeles-based composer-trombonist Nick DePinna dips his toes warily into the big-band pond on Nexus Music Vol. 1, a concise yet largely impressive glimpse at contemporary motifs from a large-group perspective. The album encompasses only three songs whose total playing time is a brief twenty minutes, about one-quarter the maximum length of a Compact Disc.

So much for duration, what about content? In that respect, the news is essentially quite good. DePinna is a splendid writer and arranger with an advanced point of view that mirrors the recent trend toward big-band innovation and diversity. "Reveille," which leads off the album, is a brass-heavy powerhouse in a funk-rock vein that thunders implacably onward behind brawny solos by alto saxophonist Dan Kaneyuki and guitarist Brady Cohan, and powerful time-keeping by drummer Jake Reed. Tenor Hitomi Oba is showcased on the graceful, easygoing "Refugio"—inspired by California's central coast beach that fell victim to a catastrophic oil spill in 2015—as are DePinna and vibraphonist Christian Tamburr on "Asceria," which uses every horn and catalyst on the premises to reconcile, in DePinna's words, "two elements with a desire to understand each other." That the reconciliation is smooth and pain-free may be ascribed in part to DePinna's perceptive chart as well as the yeomanlike work of his excellent ensemble.

To carry out his plan, DePinna uses three trumpets, three saxophones, his trombone, a vibraphone (on "Asceria") and a four-member rhythm section augmented, on "Reveille," by percussionist Roland Gajate-Garcia. The result, to all intents and purposes, is a big band whose membership never exceeds a dozen, performing charts whose playing time barely reaches twenty minutes. On the one hand, that isn't a lot of music; on the other, the music that is there is worth hearing. And as this is Nexus Music Vol. 1, it is reasonable to assume that there is more of the same either in the works or on the drawing board. Let's hope that is the case.

Track Listing

Reveille; Refugio; Asceria.

Personnel

Nick DePinna: leader, trombone; James Blackwell: trumpet; Tom Terrell: trumpet; Noah Meites: trumpet; Dan Kaneyku, Hitomi Oba, Tim McKay: saxophones; Christian Tamburr: vibraphone; Brady Cohan: guitar (1); Brandon Bae: guitar (2, 3); Ross Garren: keyboards; Tim Lefebvre: bass (1); Noah Garabedian: bass (2, 3); Jake Reed: drums (1, 3); Michael Lindsay: drums (2); Roland Gajate-Garcia: percussion (1).

Album information

Title: Nexus Music Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Orenda Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Soul Conversations
Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band
Sud Des Alpes
The Rempis Percussion Quartet
Hokusai
Sabu Toyozumi / Mats Gustafsson
Sacred Ceremonies
Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill...
L'Impact du Silence
Francois Bourassa
The Bright Awakening
Paul Dunmall - Matthew Shipp - Joe Morris -...

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.