114

Russ Nolan: With You In Mind

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
Russ Nolan: With You In Mind It's a feat for a musician to integrate seamlessly into playing within a well-known musical group that is accustomed to playing on its own. This is the tale of saxophonist Russ Nolan, whose release with pianist Kenny Werner's trio, With You In Mind, is a dream come true.

All the compositions on the recording were written by Nolan, except for John Coltrane's "Naima," which the saxophonist arranged.

The texture of the music weaves threads of clear direction and touch. Contrasting Nolan's sax with Werner's piano presents a smoothness of line complementing a sharpness of attack. Even though at times ("Diatonicus"), the rhythm trims up how Nolan approaches the notes, it seems to be Nolan's purpose to portray a fluid musical journey through the landscape that the trio structures, with Werner having been given substantial liberties to sculpt his own space. For, after all, Werner is for Nolan an inspirational hinge.

Nolan's tone on tenor stays in the mid-range and commands statements of phrases that he often reaches after pushing leapfrogged arpeggios up and down the horn. His music is cleanly shaped and directly delivered. There is nothing that is particularly complex about it. He uses the soprano, on "Disheveled Waltz," to draw lyrical perspectives on a wholly melancholy surface as the piano backs him in a quiet unobtrusive mode; he uses the tenor in the same way on the title track.

On "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors," which is a distinctly metaphorical piece, the entire group is engaged in keeping up the appearance of motion. Werner and Nolan pursue a synchronous line that clips along like the train the music is imitating. The bass and drums click away at the musical mileage. And in a solo surge, Werner climbs all over the keyboard to end in minimal treble chord gestures that open out into a drum resolution and thematic saxophone reprise to close in the hush of the sound effects of a train moving into the distance.

This recording seems to be just as much a forum for Werner to display his improvisational fortitude as it is for Nolan to reveal his compositional acuity. The honestly and beautifully rendered music on With You In Mind is to enjoy.


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 saxes; Kenny Werner: piano; Johannes Weidenmueller: bass; Ari Hoenig: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Rhinoceruss Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Live At Edgefest" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Edgefest
by John Sharpe
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "In For The Out" CD/LP/Track Review In For The Out
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!