Home » Jazz Articles » Nate Birkey: Shortest Day

380
Album Review

Nate Birkey: Shortest Day

By

Sign in to view read count
Nate Birkey: Shortest Day
Make way for Nate Birkey, a talented trumpeter/vocalist/composer who has been honing his talents in the Santa Barbara jazz scene and is now getting the national exposure he deserves. Birkey's latest release, Shortest Day , recorded live in 2004, showcases his considerable gifts and puts him front and center among jazz's most promising musicians.

The CD is composed of eight tracks, an eclectic mix including Mingus' "Nostalgia in Times Square," the hymn "Abide with Me," "Tennessee Waltz," "You are Always on My Mind," as well as two excellent originals. The song choice gives a sense of Birkey's range. In the age-old tradition of West Coast jazz musicians, Birkey has worked extensively as a studio musician, and judging from Shortest Day he is certainly capable of soulful expression in a wide range of moods. On "Autumn Leaves" Birkey's trumpet is piercing and melancholy; on his composition "Indelibly You" he sings and soars with a joyfulness reminiscent of Dixieland and "Nostalgia in Times Square" boasts a tight hard bop front line of Birkey and tenor saxophonist Justin Claveria.

In an embarrassment of riches, in addition to Birkey's excellent trumpet work and compositional skills, he also sings. His voice has a unique quality, gentle and wistful on "Always on My Mind" and "Tennessee Waltz" and joyfully swinging on "Indelibly You." Birkey's vocals are infectious; his phrasing is spot-on and he is a master of saying much by saying little. (And if you like his singing, check out his earlier release Ballads , composed entirely of vocals.) Although still based in Santa Barbara, Birkey will be in town for a CD release party, so be sure to come out and hear him for yourself.

Track Listing

1. Autumn Leaves 2. Tennessee Waltz 3. Indelibly You 4. Shortest Day 5. Always on My Mind 6. Abide With Me 7. Recado Bossa Nova 8. Nostalgia in Times Square

Personnel

Nate Birkey - Trumpet and vocals; Justin Claveria - Tenor sax; Jamieson Trotter - Piano; Jim Connolly - Bass; Cougar Estrada - Drums.

Album information

Title: Shortest Day | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Birkey Music


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...

More

In a Funk
The Justin Haynes Jazz Collective
Live In Lisbon
Ben Monder / Tony Malaby / Tom Rainey
Reminiscing at Rudy's
Houston Person

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.