by Edward Blanco
Sin Fronteras (without borders) is the self-titled debut album from a New York-based quartet established by an internationally-recognized group of Latin and Modern jazz musicians hailing from Colombia, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Chicago. Led by saxophonist and Latin jazz proponent Russ Nolan, the band includes Swiss pianist Manu Koch, Bulgarian bassist Trifon Dimitrov and Colombian drummer Juan Felipe Mayorga--together performing a variety of styles of music designed to appeal to anyone regardless of heritage. The band's goal was not ...read more
by Jeffrey Uhrich
Latin rhythms and Afro-Cuban beats abound throughout Relentless, saxophonist Russ Nolan's strong follow-up to the well-received Tell Me (Rhinocerouss Music, 2012). All of the tracks contained in Relentless are infused with a sharp rhythmic sensibility displaying Nolan's talent as a saxophonist while ensuring that the heavy influence of salsa and Latin-based rhythms shine throughout each piece. Nolan and his sidemen exude energy and spontaneity throughout the eight numbers contained on this disc, six of which are Nolan original compositions.read more
by Dan Bilawsky
While saxophonist Russ Nolan's move from Chicago to New York in 2002 was an important turning point in his career, his subsequent immersion in the New York Salsa dancing world has had an even greater impact on his music. Nolan learned to free his body and his mind to the effects of the rhythms as they washed over his very being, and he's allowed this same mindset to seep into his music. Tell Me is all about ...read more
by Elliott Simon
Two Colors (Rhinoceruss, 2004), the first release from saxophonist Russ Nolan as a leader, impressed by virtue of an exquisite partnership with pianist Sam Barsh and the leader's convincing command of both tenor and soprano saxophones. The saxophonist's sophomore effort, With You in Mind, reprises his traditional approach in the context of pianist Kenny Werner's superb piano trio. Nolan's affinity for pianists is again readily apparent on a varied musical program that includes paeans to Trane, Monk and drummer Billy ...read more
by Lyn Horton
It's a feat for a musician to integrate seamlessly into playing within a well-known musical group that is accustomed to playing on its own. This is the tale of saxophonist Russ Nolan, whose release with pianist Kenny Werner's trio, With You In Mind, is a dream come true.
All the compositions on the recording were written by Nolan, except for John Coltrane's Naima," which the saxophonist arranged.
The texture of the music weaves threads of clear direction and touch. Contrasting ...read more
by Greg Camphire
With You in Mind is saxophonist Russ Nolan's sophomore effort as a leader, and benefits from the inclusion of pianist Kenny Werner's longstanding trio featuring drummer Ari Hoenig and bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, which simultaneously supports and challenges Nolan on a set of mostly his own compositions.
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" is a highlight, putting a clever touch on the theme of bustling city life that has long been a favorite of jazz musicians. Nolan ...read more
by Elliott Simon
Two Colors begins with a pleasantly laid back meeting between Willy Wonka and Miles Davis--a meeting that has the Pure Imagination" melody from the children's film being reharmonized with Miles' It's About That Time." From there, things get a bit more intense as pianist Sam Barsh, bassist Sean Conly, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza take the journey through saxophonist Russ Nolan's intriguing musical mind. Nolan switches from soprano to tenor and weaves bop, cool and swing with a dash of Latin ...read more