Nick Hempton, “Nordberg Suite [Catch and Release #6]” (2015): One Track Mind

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Nick Hempton’s one-track-at-a-time Catch and Release album building project has now reached a half dozen recordings. The sweetly swinging “Nordberg Suite” was recorded last week and goes on sale via iTunes and Amazon on Monday, March 2.

Hempton carries over his composing acumen, his chops and bassist Dave Baron from Catch and Release #5, but nothing else. Here he returns from the tenor sax to his favored alto and does without drums. Jeremy Manasia mans the piano and Hempton shares the lead with trumpet maestro Bruce Harris.

In Harris, Hempton pairs up with a trumpeter who approaches his horn much the same as Hempton does with his: a honeyed delivery — made more so by a cup-mute on his trumpet — with an unflinching swing and a healthy dose of lyrical expression. That’s why when each take their solos in tandem, the cool vibe remains undisturbed, and Manasia steps from behind his comping for a minute to offer up Bud Powell stylings.

The swift way that the tune was recorded (at NYC’s Smalls Jazz Club after-hours) and put out stands in contrast with another one of Hempton’s carefully constructed compositions that is deceptively straightforward but contains a twist or two, particularly in the manner by which the lack of drums is redressed by short rhythmic maneuvers and Baron’s steady hand.

A vintage-sounding tune made fresh by smooth execution and distinctive from the other Catch and Release numbers by lineup and format changes, the newly-minted “Nordberg Suite” is the latest annex to a Nick Hempton project that shows no sign of running out of steam.

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

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
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