Monday, February 1, 2010
Nash Bridges THE GIG Nate Chinen Jazz at Lincoln Center Ted Nash
A few years ago, saxophonist and flutist Ted Nash received a commission from Jazz at Lincoln Center, in cahoots with the Museum of Modern Art. The result was Portrait in Seven Shades, a program that premiered at Frederick P. Rose Hall. A companion studio album is due out a week from today. (It’s available for preorder through Amazon, where you can preview tracks.)
A few recent spins of the album -- Jazz at Lincoln Center’s first release in conjunction with the Orchard, and its first new release of any sort in nearly four years -- reconfirmed my enthusiasm for the music. Nash, whose solo career, while always mindful of traditions, reaches well outside a “traditional” nexus, features the orchestra in its most flattering light. The playing is strong, the writing robust. I imagine it will go over just as well next week (Feb. 4 to 6) as it did two years ago.
Back then, I covered Portrait with a lengthy feature about Nash and his project. There’s not a whole lot to add now, except that I’m especially glad no Picassos were damaged in the making of this piece. Also: if you have five spare minutes, check out the accompanying video (scroll past “multimedia” down to “video,” and then watch in Full Screen mode). In addition to Nash’s comments and some rehearsal footage, you’ll see a shot of this reporter interrogating his subject in front of Demoiselles d’Avignon. Ann Temkin, soon to be installed as MoMA’s chief curator, was smart enough to stay out of the frame.
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