|Nash fills his solos with ideas rather than rote lines…a consistently thoughtful player who bulks up his melodic statements with controlled passion.
Ted Nash’s 2003 debut on Palmetto Records, Still Evolved, continued to elevate his presence as one of the premier saxophonists and composers of modern jazz today. The CD was selected as Top 10 of the Year by NEW YORKER Magazine and made many other national best-of lists. He accepted a SESAC National Performance Activity Award for the success of the CD on radio – it reached the #1 position on both the CMJ and JazzWeek charts – and was cited as a “Rising Star” in the tenor sax category of DOWNBEAT Magazine’s annual Critics Poll.
Nash’s second release on Palmetto Records, La Espada de la Noche (Sword of the Night) features his acclaimed Odeon band and further explores his unique aesthetic vision of uniting the diverse influences of Argentine tango, Eastern European street music, New Orleans second line and modern jazz. The CD also reflects Nash’s personal sensibilities. As he explains in the liner notes:
This shows my appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the cultures in this world, particularly Latin culture. I find its music to be very passionate. It expresses warmth, humor, ultra-seriousness, romance, tragedy. It is life. Although jazz music can tend to be quite intellectual, it is also very expressive, and the perfect base with which to combine these elements.
La Espada de la Noche begins with the famous composition from Dizzy Gillespie, “A Night in Tunisia,” and an alluring saxophone solo from Nash that calls the band into a commanding tango. Nash comments, When I first heard the tango, I almost laughed because of how dramatic it was, but I realized it wasn’t without some sense of humor. Years later, when I stepped onto the dance floor of a late night tango club in Buenos Aires, other people were probably laughing, but I was having fun.
Nash and his Odeon band have a lot of fun on this recording. Odeon features Nathalie Bonin on violin; Bill Schimmel on accordion; Clark Gayton on sousaphone (also trombone and baritone horn); and Matt Wilson on drums. Nash not only plays tenor saxophone on the recording but also alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto flute and percussion. Nash adds, It has been my goal to express many different emotions on this recording. There is humor on “Tunisia,” romance on “Sebago,” urgency on “Tico Tico,” passion on “La Espada,” optimism and tragedy on “Concierto de Aranjuez,” and playfulness on “Walk this Way.” With his approach, Nash puts his emotional and musical stamp on “Concierto,” most associated with Miles Davis and Gil Evans, and creates a striking arrangement for violin and clarinet for “Tico Tico.” This CD is one that can be listened to over and over.