359

Nick Hempton: Nick Hempton Band

By

Sign in to view read count
What happens when you put a drummer from Israel, a bassist from Italy, a Japanese-American pianist from Northern California and a saxophonist from Australia all on one recording? An amalgamation of sound, tempered by richly cultured yet solitary experiences, that amounts to the auditory equivalent of life in New York City. On the self-titled debut release of the Nick Hempton Band, saxophonist/composer/arranger Hempton leads his international tour de force on eight mostly original tracks.

The disc opens with Hempton wailing out a few bars reminiscent of John Coltrane on A Love Supreme (Impulse, 1964), while the rest of the band provides the accompaniment. What's most striking about the band's contribution on these few bars (and throughout the disc, for that matter) is that they support Hempton musically—as the Cabinet does for the President, politically. The President is the Commander-in-Chief, but the members of the Cabinet are intelligent and capable enough to stand as equals, even though their roles almost require that they not be. Instead of trying to match or even outshine Hempton, the other band members pat him on the shoulder (so to speak), and ground him with their intelligence and quality musicianship.

Some of the stand-out tracks on the disc include "The Times," featuring a beautiful opening solo from bassist Marco Panascia; as well as Joe Henderson's "Serenity," Benny Carter's "Lonely Woman," and "I'm a Nurse, I'm an Engineer."

One minor criticism of the disc's opening number, "Get This," is that the opening few bars set such a tone that the switch the song takes—from Hempton's powerful opening solo to the sing-songy, hum-along melody—is a bit distracting. It's still a really good song, but it might have been more interesting to hear Hempton follow his initial voice through to the end of the song.

The Nick Hempton Band is a welcome addition to the jazz world. With a rock solid line-up and talent to boot, this recording is proof that good music is always in style.

Track Listing: Get This; The Times; Lonely Woman; I'm a Nurse, I'm an Engineer; Serenity; Trivia; The Artful Roger; But Beautiful.

Personnel: Nick Hempton: alto saxophone; Art Hirahara: piano; Marco Panascia: bass; Dan Aran: drums; Jimmy Lategano: vocals (9).

Title: Nick Hempton Band | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Imaga Mondo" CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.