127

Ted Nash: Still Evolved

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Ted Nash: Still Evolved While there's nothing that's less than respectable on Still Evolved, tenor saxophonist Ted Nash's third album as leader and first on Palmetto Records, I kept waiting for the session to catch fire. Despite the presence of two of Nash's well-known colleagues from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, trumpeters Wynton Marsalis and Marcus Printup, and a blue-chip rhythm section, it seldom does, even though, taken as a whole, the music is engaging and there are occasional intervals of inspired blowing.

Perhaps the overall perception of nonchalance has something to do with the choice of material (Nash wrote each of the eight selections), or perhaps these gentlemen – each of whom has led groups and recorded on his own – are so proficient that they simply make things appear to be too easy. That could well be the case, as no one seems to have any problem apprehending Nash's charts, which are harmonically and rhythmically elaborate, to say the least.

Nash's songs are "thematic" in the sense that each one depicts a place, an event or a person that has special importance to him, beginning with "Shooting Star," written after the composer saw one from his Manhattan apartment. Other dedicatees include his old Volvo station wagon ("Jump Start"), a church in Italy ("Bells of Brescia"), an aunt's passion for collecting ("Ida's Spoons"), pianist/composer Andrew Hill ("Point of Arrival") and even himself ("The Competitor").

Marsalis and Printup appear on four tracks apiece, and each one gives full value, delivering workman-like performances that are bright and burnished without raising any goosebumps. The rhythm section, which has to stay alert and on its toes to decrypt Nash's blueprint, is forceful but not overbearing. As for the leader, he is smooth, articulate and technically sound, as one would expect from someone with his musical pedigree (he's the son of trombonist Dick Nash and the namesake of his uncle, saxophonist Ted Nash), and has evidently listened to and learned from such contemporary masters as Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins and Joe Lovano, among others.

Nash and his teammates are so capable that there's really nothing to censure; on the other hand, Still Evolved doesn't offer much to quicken one's pulse either. An agreeable but less than adrenalizing session.

Contact: Palmetto Records, 71 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011. Phone 1-800-PALMCDS; www.palmetto-records.com .

Track Listing: The Shooting Star; Jump Start; Still Evolved; The Competitor; Bells of Brescia; Point of Arrival; Ida?s Spoons; Rubber Soul (56:06).

Personnel: Ted Nash, tenor saxophone; Wynton Marsalis (1, 3, 5, 6), Marcus Printup (2, 4, 7, 8), trumpet; Frank Kimbrough, piano; Ben Allison, bass; Matt Wilson, drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Innate" CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Streams
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!