All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

131

Russ Nolan and the Kenny Werner Trio: With You in Mind

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Two Colors (Rhinoceruss, 2004), the first release from saxophonist Russ Nolan as a leader, impressed by virtue of an exquisite partnership with pianist Sam Barsh and the leader's convincing command of both tenor and soprano saxophones. The saxophonist's sophomore effort, With You in Mind, reprises his traditional approach in the context of pianist Kenny Werner's superb piano trio. Nolan's affinity for pianists is again readily apparent on a varied musical program that includes paeans to Trane, Monk and drummer Billy Kilson.

Not your run-of-the-mill tenor player who leans on speed or a big round tone to impress, Nolan's uniqueness lies in his facility for delicately presenting the upper registers of his instrument, much in evidence on "With You in Mind." It is a style that, save for cuts like an intriguing reworking of Trane's "Naima" and a boppish take on the NYC subway entitled "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors," is more akin to that of a vocalist who uses phrasing and diction to achieve desired moods. This is most apparent on songs where the trio provides a more open soundstage, like the pensive title cut and medium tempo closer "By The Way."

Conversely, Nolan's phrasing can also engage Werner in wonderfully charming conversation. Such is the case as piano dances divinely with soprano on what is only a somewhat "Disheveled Waltz." Bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Ari Hoenig provide some quirky rhythms that add authenticity to the Monk tribute "Diatonicus," spice up the opening "Kilson's Groove" and interject bop and ballad story lines into "Tales From the Head."

While second efforts can sometimes suffer from a dearth of originality, Nolan effectively explores new ground without sacrificing his strengths.

Track Listing: Kilson's Groove; Stand Clear of the Closing Doors; Disheveled Waltz; With You in Mind; Tales from the Head; Waiting; Diatonicus; Naima; By the Way.

Personnel: Russ Nolan: tenor and soprano saxophones; Kenny Werner: piano; Johannes Weidenmueller: bass; Ari Hoenig: drums.

Title: With You in Mind | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Rhinoceruss Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Two Colors

Two Colors

Russ Nolan
Two Colors

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Russ Nolan
With You in Mind

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sanctuary From The Ordinary: Live At Firehouse 12

Sanctuary From The...

Rhinoceruss Music
2016

buy
Call It What You Want

Call It What You Want

Rhinoceruss Music
2015

buy
Relentless

Relentless

Rhinoceruss Music
2014

buy
Tell Me

Tell Me

Rhinoceruss Music
2012

buy
With You in Mind

With You in Mind

Rhinoceruss Music
2008

buy
Two Colors

Two Colors

Rhinoceruss Music
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read The Groove Hunter CD/LP/Track Review
The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Mephiti CD/LP/Track Review
Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Powered by Life CD/LP/Track Review
Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Rock Pool Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Rock Pool Mirror
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Possessed" CD/LP/Track Review Possessed
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933" CD/LP/Track Review Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Birdsongs" CD/LP/Track Review Birdsongs
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 12, 2018
Read "Magnetism(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Magnetism(s)
by John Sharpe
Published: December 21, 2017