155

Nick Brignola: What It Takes

By

Sign in to view read count
Nick Brignola was one of the greatest baritone saxophonists of the 20th century and this album was one of his best and most far-ranging efforts. Focusing on straight ahead and bop oriented material, Brignola begins the album with an up-tempo of version of “Star Eyes” in the style of Charlie Parker. Randy Brecker on trumpet delivers a great solo that is reminiscent of Charlie Shavers. “Au Privare,” another Parker favorite, is performed with muted trumpet and Brignola on clarinet doubling the melody.

Brignola delivers a highly emotional reading of Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” a piece that Ellington often used to feature the talents of his baritone saxophonist Harry Carney. Brignola’s performance and style are very different from Carney’s, but the end result is equally satisfying. In Ellington’s “Cotton Tail, Brignola takes great solos on both soprano and baritone saxophones. His high range on baritone saxophone is simply astonishing.

The other songs on the album feature a variety of moods and styles. Tom Harrell’s haunting bossa nova “Sail Away” is lovingly performed by Brignola on soprano saxophone. His solo brings out a feature of this song that I had never noticed before, namely, that the tune is based on the changes of “The Boy Next Door.” “The Sweetwater Strut” is exactly that—a strut that features a bluesy solo by Brignola on alto saxophone. Two other pieces round out the album, the medium tempo “Asia” (with Brignola on soprano saxophone) and the up-tempo “Voyage,” featuring baritone sax, trumpet and piano solos. Special mention should be made of Dick Berk’s contribution to the album. Not only is he a gifted keeper of time, but a drummer who knows how to swing using brushes.

This is an outstanding album by one of the truly great jazz musicians who should have received more acclaim during his lifetime. You’ll want to listen to this one again and again and help to keep the legacy of Nick Brignola alive.


Track Listing: Star Eyes; Asia; Au Privare; In a Sentimental Mood; Voyage; Sweetwater Strut; Sail Away; Cotton Tail

Personnel: Nick Brignola, bariton, alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet; Kenny Barron, piano; Randy Brecker, trumpet; Rufus Reid, bass; Dick Berk, drums

Year Released: 1990 | Record Label: Reservoir Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Moments in Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moments in Time
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "At This Time..." CD/LP/Track Review At This Time...
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Stop Time" CD/LP/Track Review Stop Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Blue Monday" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Monday
by James Nadal
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!