One Track Mind: Josh Nelson "Atma-Krandana" (2011)

Share this:

Source: http://joshnelsonmusic.com/

L.A. pianist and composer Josh Nelson has been busy making records (while not backing up Natalie Cole) since his 2006 semi-finalist finish in the Thelonious Monk competition. Last week brought out his fourth album since then, and fifth overall. His hyper-productivity hadn’t seemed to affect the quality of his output, churning out one positively received record after another, including a pretty nice one from 2007 called Let It Go, of which I said then presents a real strength in “his compositions and his utilization of his band to interpret them well.”

Discoveries, out since September 8, is themed on the old school sci-fi writings of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, but this keyboardist is hardly backward-looking in his conception of music. A wide ranging display of Nelson’s talents, I still come back to that four year old quote above when listening to it, and no where that is more apparent than on the lead-off cut “Atma-Krandana.”

There’s a lot of things going right in this tune: the buoyant melodicism of Pat Metheny, the twisting sequence of notes of Chick Corea and the perfect injection of horns (Dontae Winslow, trumpet; Alan Ferber, trombone; Brian Walsh, bass clarinet). During the soloing part, Ferber and Winslow spar a bit, but stay well inside that melody to keep the vibe going. Vanessa Robaire’s wordless vocal aligns with the brass to make it sound almost like on a light-on-its-feet big band at the times the chart swells out from underneath, and when it recedes, you find the nifty rim and cymbal work by drummer Dan Schnelle and Dave Robaire’s percolating bass. And don’t forget Larry Koonse’s single note guitar lines vying with Nelson’s own thoughtful ruminations on piano.

Yeah, so there’s a lot of players doing different things on the song. Credit Josh Nelson for putting them together so harmoniously into a lithe, complex but very dulcet performance of a modern, intelligent jazz tune.

Visit Josh Nelson’s website.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B005BFLR9C” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B002FOG0MQ” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000V8MRBQ” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B004FX50OO” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005GXW108″ /]

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

Latest posts by S. Victor Aaron (see all)

Share this:
Close