Boston native saxophonist Kyle Nasser's debut Restive Soul is a cohesive collection of ten, intriguing and elegantly crafted, Nasser originals. The music has a surprising maturity tempered with passionate spontaneity and a darkly cinematic ambience.
A mysterious aura shrouds the evocative "Shadow Army" that opens with pianist Dov Manski's percussive chords. Guitarist Jeff Miles' agile and expressive strings add a delightfully eerie feel to the tune while Nasser's eloquent improvisation brings a poetic narrative sense to it. Drummer Devin Drobka enhances the ominous, expectant mood with his low rumble that occasionally breaks to the surface of the melody.
Drobka's carefully placed cymbal crashes, Manski's sparse notes and bassist Chris van Voorst's deep reverberations set the dramatic and stately mood on "Gyorgi Goose." Nasser's indigo hued sax gradually fades into the brewing sonic storm the ushers in the piece's second half. The unfettered, imaginative and subtly whimsical ensemble play superbly complements the solemnness of the first part. The evolving stimulating cacophony is replete with Nasser's squawks and honks and his band mates' inventive and riotous harmonies.
Van Voorst's lyrical, conversational solo enhances the late night atmosphere of the delightfully busy and intricately constructed "Trip To Lester's." Nasser's thick, heady tenor meanders among his sidemen's articulate, supportive individual lines.
The relaxed warmth of "Trip To Lester's" contrasts perfectly with the fiery energy of "Radiator Lady." Miles' angular and rock inspired extemporization is refreshingly bold yet melodic. It expands far from the main theme but echoes the very motifs inherent in the composition. Nasser, seamlessly, continues to build on Miles' ideas with his brassy, blues drenched turn in the spotlight. Manski contributes a dynamic and clever cascade of adlib phrases.
With this intelligent, sophisticated and engaging album Nasser showcases his superlative musicianship as a performer, writer and a bandleader. His exquisitely balanced works reflect both his ardent creativity and his urbane artistic composure and whet the appetite for the next chapter of what is sure to become a brilliant career.
For Rick B; Angelique; Restive Soul; Shadow Army; Gyorgi Goose; Radiator Lady; Trip to
Lester's; Whitestone; Ecstatic Repose; Rise.
Kyle Nasser: tenor and soprano saxophones; Jeff Miles: gutar; Dov Manski: piano; Chris
Van Voorst: bass; Devin Drobka: drums.
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