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ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: Night Owl

Read "Night Owl" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If jazz belongs to a single breed of believers, it would have to go to the night owls. Those loyalists who live a nocturnal existence—the listeners. sitting at the bar while they drink in their surroundings, and the performers, playing into the wee small hours in basement hideaways—are the heartbeat of this music, and saxophonist Nick Hempton knows it. Having spent many an evening in clubs and corner bars, Hempton is more than qualified to raise his ...

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Nick Hempton: Trio Stonk: Live At Smalls

Read "Trio Stonk: Live At Smalls" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

On April 20, 2017, tenor and alto saxophonist Nick Hempton, bassist George DeLancey, and drummer Dan Aran played a gig at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City. Fortunately, it was recorded and recently released by the house label, SmallsLIVE. Although Hempton is the leader, the sixty minutes of music amounts to a collective accomplishment. The record documents a band that sounds raw, unprocessed, unfiltered--in short, the antithesis of any attempt at the unattainable ideal of studio perfection. With one ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: Catch and Release

Read "Catch and Release" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Veteran New York saxophonist Nick Hempton lets loose with the stellar Catch and Release, a special project that has been a year-long journey and an experiment of sorts, in recording and releasing music. The album contains eight original Hempton compositions except that each tune was recorded and released separately for purchase on-line on the internet for, as the saxophonist states, “putting it into the marketplace the way people are already buying it." Though the project officially kicked off in July ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: Catch And Release

Read "Catch And Release" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When it come to music release methods, there's nothing more stubborn or persistent than the single. Music has fallen in and out of love with so many different formats over the years, but the one-song-at-a-time method of digestion has weathered every shift, spat, and alteration that life and technology have thrown at it. In fact, it's stronger than ever in this download and post-download age. So what, pray tell, does that have to do with this album? Everything.

CATCHING UP WITH

Nick Hempton's Catch & Release

Read "Nick Hempton's Catch & Release" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Ever since the advent of Napster, musicians and commentators have been sounding the knell for the music industry model that had existed for the better part of the twentieth century. More than fifteen years on, it's clear that the old model lurches on, haggard and zombielike, but no clear and lasting successor has emerged. The à la carte model of iTunes, the 500-pound gorilla of the digital music era, is now losing ground to ad-supported or subscription streaming services such ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: Odd Man Out

Read "Odd Man Out" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

So, just who is the Odd Man Out? It's not exactly one of the great enigmas of modern times, but it's something to ponder. Not for too long, though, for time will be much better spent enjoying the music. Odd Man Out is the third album from saxophonist Nick Hempton and his band and it represents a notable step forward for what was already an impressive and hugely enjoyable ensemble.So what's changed since Hempton's second album The Business ...

INTERVIEWS

Nick Hempton: The Way It Is

Read "Nick Hempton: The Way It Is" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The Business (Positone, 2011) is a milestone in the career of Nick Hempton. Since arriving in the USA from his native Australia in 2004, the 35-year-old saxophonist, composer, and bandleader has slowly but surely worked his way up the ladder of the notoriously competitive New York City jazz scene. Hempton's second date as a leader is a testament to his talent, dedication, hard work, and to a willingness not to take himself too seriously. The disc is distinguished by an ...

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Nick Hempton: The Business

Read "The Business" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

On his self-produced debut, Nick Hempton Band (2009), saxophonist Nick Hempton showed a deft sense of humor through his liner notes. No witticisms mark the release of The Business, but another factor that was evident on the first manifests itself all over again: Hempton is a saxophonist of class.

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Nick Hempton: The Business

Read "The Business" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Saxophonist Nick Hempton's decision to call his second album The Business might be a comment on the commercial nature of jazz, or it might be a rather hubristic statement about the nature of his own music. Big, fat grooves, a real sense of swing, strong melodies and even stronger rhythms suggest that Hempton is right to name this album The Business on both counts: because this is a high-quality collection of straight-ahead jazz with an immediate accessibility. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: The Business

Read "The Business" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The workaday details of the business world don't really relate to jazz very much. Boring meetings, piles of paperwork, and endless conference calls have little to do with the in-the-moment magic that surrounds this music, but that doesn't mean that jazz musicians don't know how to get down to business when the tape is rolling. For his Posi-Tone debut, saxophonist Nick Hempton brought his working band back into the studio, and they dive right into the music ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: Nick Hempton Band

Read "Nick Hempton Band" reviewed by Bridget A. Arnwine

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 ...


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