Saxophonist Kyle Nasser follows his 2015 self-released debut, the captivating Restive Soul, with the equally intriguing Persistent Fancy. On it Nasser's writing has matured and his ideas crystalized resulting in vibrant and compelling originals.
The title track is an intricately crafted and passionate tune that brims with refreshing spontaneity. Bursts of saxophone notes complement guitarist Jeff Miles' simmering and fluid lines. Bassist Nick Jost and drummer Allan Mednard create a taut rhythmic framework with their agile reverberations and crisp beats.
Two delightfully unusual compositions are the three movement "Baroque Suite" and "Eros Suite." Both bear marks of western classical influences. The former starts with pianist Dov Manski's eloquent, circular phrases that lead to Nasser's soulful soprano and effervescent ensemble play. The third section matches Nasser with altoist Roman Filiu in a spirited extemporized duet over the band's rumbling and angular refrains.
The second suite opens with a delightfully dissonant group performance that uses vamps to slowly develop into a moving climax. Bittersweet phrases form the melancholic finale. Mednard's sparkling cymbals, Manski's cascading keys and Jost's thumping strings imbue it with poetry and lyricism.
Persistent Fancy is only Nasser's sophomore effort yet it demonstrates a significant evolution in the saxophonist. Nasser proves himself an inventive composer and an intelligent improviser. He also succeeds as a bandleader by surrounding himself with virtuosic and like-minded artists. The result is a consistently stimulating gem of a record.
Split Gut; Arrival; The Ascent of Henry Monmouth; Persistent Fancy; Baroque Suite I Prelude; Baroque Suire II
Fugue; Baroque Suite III Improv; Sticky Hipster; Eros Suite I Prelude; Eros Suite II Desire; Eros Suite III
Postlude to Desire; 3-Way; Arioso; Coffee and Cannabis.
Kyle Nasser: tenor and soprano saxophones; Roman Filiu: alto saxophone; Jeff Miles: guitar; Dov Manski:
keyboards; Nick Jost: bass; Allan Mednard: drums.