Archive for ted nash

2017 Grammy Nominations: Jazz categories

Posted in 2017 Grammys with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2016 by curtjazz


Congratulations to all of the artists nominated for Grammy Awards in the jazz related categories. Since they often include jazz artists, we’ve also included the nominations in the instrumental arrangement and composition categories in this list. The awards will be presented on Sunday, February 12, 2017, in a portion of the program prior to the nationally televised broadcast. More on the nominated, albums, performances and artists will follow in the coming weeks.

Best improvised jazz solo

“Countdown” — Joey Alexander, soloist

“In Movement” — Ravi Coltrane, soloist

“We See” — Fred Hersch, soloist

“I Concentrate On You” — Brad Mehldau, soloist

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” — John Scofield, soloist

Best jazz vocal album

“Sound of Red” — René Marie

“Upward Spiral” — Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling

“Take Me to the Alley” — Gregory Porter

“Harlem On My Mind” — Catherine Russell

“The Sting Variations” — The Tierney Sutton Band

Best jazz instrumental album

“Book of Intuition” — Kenny Barron Trio

“Dr. Um” — Peter Erskine

“Sunday Night at the Vanguard” — The Fred Hersch Trio

“Nearness” — Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau

“Country For Old Men” — John Scofield

Best large jazz ensemble album

“Real Enemies” — Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

“Presents Monk’estra, Vol. 1” — John Beasley

“Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles” — John Daversa

“All L.A. Band” — Bob Mintzer

“Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom” — Ted Nash Big Band

Best Latin jazz album

“Entre Colegas” — Andy González

“Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective on the Music of Woody Shaw” — Brian Lynch & Various Artists

“Canto América” — Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta

“30” — Trio Da Paz

“Tribute to Irakere: Live In Marciac” — Chucho Valdés

Best instrumental composition

“Bridge of Spies (End Title)” — Thomas Newman, composer

“The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade For Double Big Band)” — Tim Davies, composer

“Flow” — Alan Ferber, composer

“L’Ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock”  Versione Integrale — Ennio Morricone, composer

“Spoken at Midnight” — Ted Nash, composer

Best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella

“Ask Me Now” — John Beasley, arranger

“Good Swing Wenceslas” — Sammy Nestico, arranger

“Linus & Lucy” — Christian Jacob, arranger

“Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” — John Daversa, arranger

“We Three Kings” — Ted Nash, arranger

“You And I” — Jacob Collier, arrange

Best arrangement, instruments and vocals

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” — Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Featuring Take 6)

“Do You Want To Know a Secret” — John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa Featuring Renee Olstead)

“Flintstones” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

“I’m a Fool to Want You” — Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)

“Somewhere (Dirty Blvd)” (Extended Version) — Billy Childs & Larry Klein, arrangers (Lang Lang Featuring Lisa Fischer & Jeffrey Wright)


A New Gift from JLCO: “Big Band Holidays”

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2015 by curtjazz

Big Band HolidaysMy late father often said “The best thing to do in a hurry, is nothing.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to truly appreciate the enduring wisdom in those words – for I’ve so often discovered that I make my biggest errors, when I do things for speed and not for pleasure. Such is the case with my post a couple of days ago about my favorite new Holiday Jazz Albums.

Since I decided last weekend that I was going to write something every day for the rest of the year to atone for my lack of activity over the last six months, I’d became totally focused on putting something out there, even if I hadn’t really thought it through. So when I completed the post on new Christmas Jazz, I dropped a few words and a couple of videos, and declared my mission accomplished, even though I felt as if I was missing something…it didn’t matter; at least I was making my self-imposed deadline.

I was missing something. Something that I had heard and enjoyed more, , than most of the albums in the original post – it was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s Big Band Holidays; an album far richer and more complex than its simplistic title (and pedestrian cover art) would suggest.

Every December for over a decade, Wynton Marsalis, and the JLCO have come together with some of the great vocalists in jazz to perform their arrangements of some of the classic songs of the season. Thankfully many of these concerts were recorded. This year, Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s house label, assembled some of the choice selections from 2012 – 2014 concerts and released them as a compilation – featuring three of the best vocalists in jazz today, Rene Marie, Gregory Porter and Cecile McLorin Salvant and strong arrangements from some of the bands in house pros like Victor Goines, Sherman Irby and Ted Nash, plus a nod to the new testament Basie Band by including Ernie Wilkins classic arrangement of “Jingle Bells”. Big Band Holidays is a terrific jazz album first and a good Holiday album second, which is why I will probably be listening to it beyond next Friday night.

As you can see, these performances were also caught on video, so we can share a few of them with you. May these performances prove to be as timeless as my dad’s words.

Merry Christmas, everybody.


Album Review: Ted Nash – Chakra

Posted in CD Reviews with tags , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by curtjazz

The following review first appeared in the November 2013 issue of Eric Nemeyer’s Jazz Inside Magazine

Ted Nash Big Band

ted nash - chakra

CHAKRA – Plastic Sax Records PSR-2  Earth; Water; Fire; Air; Ether; Light; Cosmos

PERSONNEL: Ted Nash, conductor, alto sax, alto flute; Ben Kono, alto sax, soprano sax, flute, clarinet; Charles Pillow, alto sax; clarinet, flute, piccolo; Dan Willis, tenor sax, clarinet; Anat Cohen, tenor sax, clarinet; Paul Nedzela, baritone sax, bass clarinet; Kenny Rampton, lead trumpet; Alphonso Horne, trumpet; Ron Horne, trumpet; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Alan Ferber, lead trombone; Mark Ferber, trombone; Charley Gordon, trombone; Jack Schatz, bass trombone; Christopher Ziemba, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Ulysses Owens, drums

By Curtis Davenport

If it should be nominated for no other awards this year, Ted Nash’s new album Chakra gets my hands down vote for “Best Album Cover”. The cover photo of actress/model Tatyana Kot’s back, painted with the seven Tantric Chakra tattoos, is stunningly beautiful. Mr. Nash has put together a short video about the making of this cover (it has quite an interesting story), which is playing on his website. It makes for fascinating viewing. As for the music, it is every bit as attention-grabbing as the cover.

Warning: Portions of the video below are NSFW

Chakra is the second big band album by Mr. Nash, a saxophonist who has been on the jazz scene for over thirty years, releasing numerous albums as a leader. His most notable association has been with Wynton Marsalis as a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Nash composed “Portrait in Seven Shades” for the JLCO, which they recorded in 2010. The work received two Grammy nominations, including best instrumental arrangement.  For the uninitiated, “Chakras” are points in the human body that are considered the centers of life force or vital energy in Hindu metaphysical tradition.  Each of the seven selections is named for one of the Chakras. One would expect an album with such ties to Hinduism and Buddhism to have at least a hint of the music of the Far East in its sound. Instead the compositions and arrangements are thoroughly contemporary big band music. It is dense, it is powerful, it is complex and at times, it swings like mad. The band is peppered with top drawer musicians as soloists such as Anat Cohen, Tim Hagans, drummer Ulysses Owens (who grows more impressive each time I hear him) and of course Mr. Nash himself. In addition there are a few young musicians who turn in revelatory performances.

One of those youngsters is trumpeter Alphonso Horne, a Florida State University graduate and student of piano great Marcus Roberts. Mr. Horne first grabbed my attention on “Ether (Throat Chakra)” a piece about the ability to communicate. Well, Horne does just that with a confident, growling plunger mute solo, “talking” like a preacher as the rest of the band shouts musical encouragement behind him. Horne returns on “Light (Third Eye Chakra)” a hard swinger that starts with Horne and Nash in unison before Owens comes bursting through and kicks the band into high gear. Nash drops a tasty alto lick which gives way to Horne stabbing his way through his upper register with another hot statement. No doubt about it, young Mr. Horne has tremendous potential. “Fire (Solar Plexus Chakra)” is about the ability to be confident and in control. It demonstrates just that through a lush opening statement of flutes, piccolos and clarinets in counterpoint to blaring brass, followed by a crisp trombone solo from Alan Ferber, then by Anat Cohen, IMO the best clarinet player in jazz today, doing what she does best. All the while they are being pushed by Mr. Owens who is playing as if he is dying to say something. Owens finally gets his chance after Martin Wind’s strong bass solo. His solo is fairly brief but he makes full use of his entire kit, with muscular press rolls and bombs. And there’s “Water (Sacral Chakra)”, which begins in a rather tranquil way with insistent triplets that lead to Charles Pillow’s alto. Mr. Pillow picks up where the band leaves off and slowly guides the band into a land of groove populated by Tim Hagan’s fiery trumpet. It’s a masterful arrangement.

Ted Nash has long deserved wider recognition for his gifts as a musician and arranger.  Chakra is a very good album that stands as additional proof of that statement.