Ted Nash Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Sept. 5, 9 p.m. 2008

Jazz musicians frequently devote entire records to a single composer, and for the new Mancini Project (Palmetto) saxophonist Ted Nash partakes of that time-honored tradition, interpreting work by Henry Mancini—who often used jazz instrumentation, if not jazz improvisation, in his film and TV scores. A high-profile member of the Lincoln Center’s jazz orchestra, Nash is a meticulous craftsman and thoughtful improviser, and he brings strong personal ties to this material as well. When he was growing up in Los Angeles, his father and uncle played on countless sessions with Mancini, and as early as age six, when he saw The Great Race, he made the connection between his relatives and the music; when he started to play a horn himself, he developed a much deeper appreciation of the way they’d used their chops and ideas to help create key sequences in Mancini’s work. On The Mancini Project Nash neatly translates the composer’s themes into the language of mainstream bop, riding hard on the tough groove from “The Party” and teasing out the moodiness of the original in his loose, swinging version of “Lujon.” His terrific band consists of drummer Matt Wilson, pianist Frank Kimbrough, and bassist Ben Allison. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12

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