Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mark Nodwell Nemesis review

I know I am a bit behind...but I thought I'd write about some of my favorite things over the last few months......

Here is..a bit about a cd I got in the last year.

Nemesis was perhaps the best surprise of all the CD's I got, Its really a bit of a revelation, combining "free" and straight jazz texture's with electro-acoustic instrumentation. It's really quite good.
Nemesis the albums title, opens the set..you'd think looking at the artist listings that your are about to embark on a difficult, (hard to listen to) project. However, the sound here is straight ahead modern electric jazz...and to start out..almost mellow. Khabu is just such a superb player. Nodwells decision not to play, but to hire musicians to fulfill his compositions is curious, but clearly well thought out. Nodwell has picked well using the duo of Lande and Young along with long time collaborator Ron Miles crating a "rock" to build around has paid good dividends. The end result is an almost astonishing suite of music, that has me reminiscing to the "good old days" when the mix of electronics, jazz and rock was still fresh. The date is solid throughout, there's no dead weight in either band or compositions...but to me there are highlights: On Sortex, we really get an idea of what Khabu Doug Young is capable of. (what can Khabu do for you!) When my friend from Colorado and I were talking music, David torn came up and somehow we worked to Khabu Doug Young. I had never heard of him. He compared Young to Torn's playing. What I here is more of a young John Abercrombies tone and attack. In fact Sortex, to me feels like it could be a part of Enrico Rava's "the plot" date. Youngs playing has that early 70's Abercrombie sound with a distorted yet almost country tone. It has that Manfred Eicher sound and Ron Miles is so strong here. Ron Miles is such a great player, and another familiar with both Lande and Young. Fleet has the band in one of those goofy "downtown" rollicking messes....Young is again given the lead and he trades off finely with Lande. Flight of the Pterodacty is kinda a psychotic tango. the band blasts through vaguely Latin bizarre chord changes and odd meters, bouncing great solos off each other along the way. Nodwell's musician choices really show how well picked and thought out they were here. There is great chemistry here. Resurrection pulls it back in, Drew Gress's subtle underpinning's remind me why I think so highly of his work. Ron Miles pulls some lovely laid back trumpet out of his bag, sweet stuff. Art Lande's piano tops it all off Landes in charge. This is a definite 5 star effort, Hats off to all involved.

Mark Nodwell (leader)
Ron Miles (trumpet)
Art Lande (piano)
Khabu Doug Young (guitar)
David Gress (bass)
Tom Rainey (drums).

Flight of the Pterodactyl
Dreamtime (epilogue)

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