Nomadic, Tomas Janzon's sixth album as leader, is a pleasant, easy-going session that benefits greatly from the presence, on half a dozen tracks, of the superb vibraphonist Steve Nelson who adds substance and color to what is essentially a quartet or trio session wherein Janzon's mellow guitar carries much of the weight.
There are eleven tracks in all, the first four and last four by Janzon, separated by McCoy Tyner's tranquil "Search for Peace," Sonny Rollins' no-more-than-lukewarm "Valse Hot" and Lee Konitz & Tadd Dameron's light- hearted "Subconscious Lee/Hot House." Nelson rounds out a quartet on five of his six numbers, with Hilliard Greene on bass and Chuck McPherson on drums. Janzon and Nelson comprise a duo on the former's "Letter from JSB," while the remaining trio tracks are played by Janzon, bassist Jeff Littleton and drummer Tony Austin.
After lighting a small but no less welcome fire on "Hothouse" and his own "Ascending" (again with Nelson), Janzon walks it back on "Blue Frog Return" and (to a lesser extent) on "Pressing Forward," which wraps up the smooth and generally likeable session. Littleton solos on that one, a rare instance wherein the spotlight strays from Janzon or Nelsonwhich is not displeasing, as each of them has a wealth of interesting ideas to impart. In sum, not an album that screams "wow!" but one that encompasses handsome music from end to end. Perfect for those quiet times when lights are low and repose is the order of the day.
Out Door Valley; Rob’s Piano; Night Watch; Letter from JSB; Search for Peace; Valse Hot;
Subconscious Lee/Hot House; Ascending; Uncovering; Blue Frog Return; Pressing Forward.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.