Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations by Roy Nathanson & Friends at The Stone

Roy Nathanson & Friends

Roy Nathanson  alto, soprano, baritone sax and voice with Arturo O’Farrill  piano | Marc Ribot  acoustic guitar | Curtis Fowlkes  trombone,vocals | Anthony Coleman  piano | Myra Melford  piano | Lucy Hollier  trombone

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A Roy Nathanson CD released by Clean Feed? That can only be good news. The leader/saxophonist of the legendary Jazz Passengers, and the second saxophonist, with John Lurie, of the even more mythical Lounge Lizards debuts in the Portuguese catalogue with a compilation of duos.  Taking a break from his paired down combo Sotto Voce which features his poetry and songwriting, this CD represents an even more intimate series of performances recorded live during a series of sessions at The Stone, John Zorn’s venue in New York, in June of 2015. The musicians invited include some of his old mates, namely trombonist Curtis Fowlkes,  Passenger  co-founder and former Lizard, pianist Anthony Coleman, his partner in a much applauded duet, and guitarist Marc Ribot, with whom Nathanson played in the Passengers and Rootless Cosmopolitans. The others, Arturo O’Farrill, Myra Melford and Lucy Hollier, are close souls of this man who turned jazz popular again in the Nineties, establishing himself as one of the protagonists of the downtown scene. This is the same man who somehow engaged  Debbie Harry, vocalist of the punk / new wave band Blondie, and Elvis Costello to sing in a jazz context, with that gesture attracting a new audience without compromising himself and his ideas.  The record is presented as a collection of «musical conversations between friends»,  that highlights the concept of “nearness” with the decision to include five completely different versions of the standard “The Nearness of You”, by Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington. Two are presented as such, the others appear with the humoristic titles “The Nearness of Ewes”, “The Nearness of Youse” and “The Nearness of Jews”. The other tracks are free improvisations, with the exception of a Carla Bley’s ex-libris, “Ida Lupino”, a composition by Nathanson and another by Hollier. It’s so good you wish you were there with them.


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1 © 1937, 1940, renewed 1964, 1967 Famous Music, Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group | 2 Younggabe (BMI), Knockwurst Music (ASCAP) | 3 Younggabe (BMI) | 4 Younggabe (BMI), Anthony Coleman (BMI) | 5 same as 1 – Arranged by Nathanson – Younggabe (BMI) | 6 Younggabe (BMI), GEMA and Sun on the Sound Publishing (BMI) | 7 Lucy Hollier (BMI) | 8 © 1963 Alrac Music (BMI)

Recorded live at The Stone, NY, June 2 – 6, 2015 by Hugo Dwyer | Edited, mixed, and mastered by Hugo Dwyer
Produced and Engineered by Hugo Dwyer | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos

Sincere thanks to all the above musicians and to John Zorn, Charna Meyers, Cristy Dwyer and Kim Smith



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