Nick Hempton, “Montauk Mosey [Catch and Release #4]” (2014): One Track Mind

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Ace alto saxophonist Nick Hempton has been cranking out recordings of new tunes every six weeks or so, effectively building an album’s worth of tracks as he goes along. It’s a project he cleverly calls his “Catch and Release” series. Last summer we witnessed the kickoff of this undertaking and sized up the first song, also titled “Catch And Release.”

It seems six weeks flies by so quickly because on December 8, 2014, Hempton will put forth his fourth “Catch and Release” track. This one is entitled “Montauk Mosey.”

Hempton sketches out “Montauk Mosey” in the video above, but the actual recording, like the prior three C & R tunes, was captured the Smalls NYC jazz club during off-hours. However, instead of Hempton’s regular quartet playing the tune, it’s just Hempton with Italian-born pianist Rossano Sportiello.

Hempton calls Sportiello “one of the world’s leading practitioners of swing-style piano” and his smooth flowing manner partners perfectly with Hempton’s tender delivery. The alto-piano confab evokes the intimate Art Pepper/George Cables tête-à-tête’s taped right at the end of Pepper’s life.

The song itself is an easygoing, sweet melody squarely in the style of the Great American Songbook. You can swear that this is a Cole Porter tune but no, it’s Hempton’s.

Though recorded in the morning, “Montauk Mosey” is a nightcap tune and as it is done up faithfully in the classic style, it’s a darned fine one at that.

*** Purchase all the ‘Catch and Release’ songs available for sale here. ***

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