Tuesday, December 22, 2009

(Another) Nuttree Quartet - Something Sentimental (Kind of Blue, 2009)

This group with the interesting name is a jazz collective consisting of John Abercrombie on guitar, Jay Anderson on bass, Dave Liebman on soprano saxophone and wooden flute and Adam Nussbaum on drums and percussion. Originally conveniend to honor Nussbaum's recently departed mother, this record is filled with celebrations for lives well lived. I originally head them by a cut played on Jim Wilke's Jazz After Hours and it piqued my interest. The group plays subtle well shaded jazz and echoes of the world jazz ensemble Codona are present in Liebman's flute and Nussbaum's gently played percussion. Tracks that I really enjoyed include the opening "Poinciana," which has a soft and yearning saxophone and probing guitar developing a patient and pleasant improvisation. "I Hear a Rhapsody" opens with gentle percussion and guitar, evolving into a trio improvisation with Anderson's elastic bass taking the lead. Liebman finally enters late in the performance and floats above and around the trio with dexterous soprano saxophone. The standard "Lover Man" begins with Abercrombie alone, before well paced bass and moderate saxophone and drums arrive on the scene. Anderson again takes center stage with a solo, giving way to a thoughtful and Zen-like interlude of guitar and brushed drums. Their unique treatment of "Besame Mucho" was my favorite track, focusing on Liebman's spare flute with soft percussion and snaking guitar showing an enigmatic Native American influence. Liebman moves to saxophone for a potent solo, before returning to flute to close the tune out, making this a mysterious and moving performance. This is an album of thoughtful and patient music by players who are willing to put their egos aside for the benefit of the music and the group. Something Sentimental - amazon.com

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