Sunday, June 25, 2017

USA: Steve Nelson - Brothers Under The Sun (High Note 2017)

Brothers Under The Sun
Vibist Steve Nelson made a big splash as a newcomer in the jazz polls at the end of the '80s just as the vibraphone began to re-emerge as one of jazz's favorite instruments. The cool, drifty, slightly detached sound of the vibraphone will forever be associated with great jazz players like Lionel Hampton, Gary Burton and others, but Nelson has firmly established himself as a leader of top-notch small ensembles that showcase his own personal voice on the instrument. Leading a blue-chip quartet composed of pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Lewis Nash, Nelson has put together an imaginative setlist that serves as a tribute to the late pianist Mulgrew Miller, with whom Nelson enjoyed a long and fruitful musical collaboration and friendship. Throughout the date the interplay of the quartet is engaging, the creativity unflagging and the joy in the music making is always apparent. Brothers Under the Sun is a substantial addition to Steve Nelson's far-too-small discography as a leader.