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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations

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On saxophonist Roy Nathanson's 2009 disc Subway Moon (Yellowbird), he covers the R&B song “Love Train" a huge hit for The O'Jays in 1973. Nathanson's version was a relaxed take on the age old wish for world peace. By decelerating the music he accelerated the intimacy. He utilizes the same device on Nearness Of You, an album of duets and improvisations recorded with his friends and longtime playing partners during his 2015 residency at The Stone in New York.

BOOK REVIEWS

Subway Moon

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Subway Moon Roy Nathanson Soft cover; 134 pages ISBN 978-3-00-025376-8 Buddy's Knife 2009

Poetry, like music, is about movement. Both art forms move from one note, or word, to another, trying to catch the essence of the moment. Saxophonist and composer Roy Nathanson has long worked with both words and music, sometimes uniting the two as he did on Sotto Voce (Aum Fidelity, 2006). Subway Moon, however, represents the first ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Subway Moon

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If the expression “renaissance musician" existed in the dictionary, it would probably show a picture of saxophonist Roy Nathanson. The leader of the Jazz Passengers has undergone numerous artistic rebirths throughout his career as a member of The Lounge Lizards, performing with Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello, and Marc Ribot, composing for film and theater, acting, teaching, and even hosting a radio drama. He also holds a degree in poetry, which is put to splendid use on Subway Moon. Inspired by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Subway Moon

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Subway Moon, alto saxophonist Roy Nathanson's ambitious new album of jazz and spoken word, defies easy categorization. It mixes an accessible brand of avant-garde jazz with R&B, hip hop, Jewish music and multi-vocal harmonies; poignant biographical revelations with humorous observations of urban life; high-art concept with a gritty New York street sensibility. This eclecticism should come as no surprise to those who've followed the co-founder of the playfully experimental Jazz Passengers through his collaborations with Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2008: Day 6 - Finale

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Lewis Barnes' Hampton Roads Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure's Deep Sahara William Parker's Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield

Vision Festival 2008Clemente Soto Velez Cultural CenterNew York City Day 6: Festival Wrap-Up

Sunday evening's bill was perhaps one of the most tangible manifestations of the slightly more ...

INTERVIEWS

Roy Nathanson: Auditory Circus

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Saxophonist Roy Nathanson was in one of the earliest versions of The Lounge Lizards, which he left to found The Jazz Passengers, a group that slowly morphed into his new ensemble, Sotto Voce. In between he also co-led a duo with keyboardist and composer, Anthony Coleman and released, among others, the ground-breaking album I Could've Been a Drum (Tzadik, 1997).

As an independent composer he also scored the work of monologue artist, David Cole. He also ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Sotto Voce

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The Italian term selected by saxophonist Roy Nathanson as the title of his latest CD connotes a hushing of sung or spoken tones, a deceptive name for a recording with so many worthwhile things to say. On Sotto Voce, the Jazz Passengers co-founder leads an idiosyncratic five-piece through an unholy hodgepodge of pop, post bop, hip-hop and poetry. The unusual mixture succeeds on account of the album's democratic approach, which renders soloistic virtuosity secondary to an overall group concept.

Enlisted ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Nathanson: Sotto Voce

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An intriguing combination of spoken word, multipart vocal harmonies and adventurous instrumental jazz with a surprising rhythmic twist, Sotto Voce is not unprecedented in saxophonist/composer Roy Nathanson's discography. With trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, Nathanson is co-founder of the long running Jazz Passengers, those erstwhile guardians of postmodern irreverence. Their career over the past decade has found them reinventing the role of vocals in jazz. Beginning with 1994's In Love, which featured a slew of guest vocalists, including further collaborations with Deborah ...


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