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Album Review

Russ Nolan: Sin Fronteras


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Russ Nolan: Sin Fronteras
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 only to play the music their fans were familiar with, but to expand their reach and draw the interest from audiences of diverse regions from South America to Spain, Africa and the Caribbean. The music on this first effort, succeeds quite well in producing a wide range of engaging sounds propelling the album to a higher level.

On tap are ten riveting pieces with eight originals and all arrangements from Nolan, plus two cover tunes ("Nature Boy," from Eden Ahbez and "Poinciana," from Nat Simon) beginning with "Take A Memo," introduced by a strong percussive delivery from Mayorga, a piano foray by Koch and the eventual lead solos from the saxophonist in an obvious Latin-tinged tune.

The leader changes to the soprano on the Modern jazz styled "The Long Ranger," before moving on to a new treatment of the standard "Nature Boy," as the music turns softly on the ballad-like "Nublado y Claro," (cloudy and clear) where bassist Dimitrov shows off his impeccable chops on the bass as Koch lends more gentle key work on a lovely tune.

Nolan and company deliver pounding statements on the appropriately-titled "Irregular Heartbeat" and "Cruzado" before slowing down the heart beat on the delicate "Poinciana." The album ends on a fabulous tune with the dicey "Chachalokafun," and the finale "Acceptance" bringing an exceptionally creative session of jazz to a close.

Leader Nolan and his world-class group of players document an impressive set of new music on Sin Fronteras laying a strong foundation for which to expand and imprint their interpretation of jazz with limitless boundaries.

Track Listing

Take A Memo; The Long Ranger; Nature Boy; Nublado y Claro; Irregular Heartbeat; Cruzado; Poinciana; Somewhat Festive; Chachalokafun; Acceptance.


Russ Nolan: saxophone, tenor; Trifon Dimitrov: bass; Manu Koch: keyboards; Juan Felipe Mayorga: drums.

Album information

Title: Sin Fronteras | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Rhinoceruss Music

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