A brilliant debut CD release from Ana Nelson…
Ana Nelson – Bridges – Ana Nelson Music – 43:16 – ****1/2
( Ana Nelson – alto sax and clarinet; Jamaal Baptiste – piano; Brendan Keller Tuberg -bass; Carter Pearson- drums; with guests, Garrett Fasig – tenor sax (#3); Bill Nelson – tenor sax (#7); Jeremy Allen – bass (#7); Steve Houghton – drums (#7); Marina Alba Lopez, Jodi Dunn – violin (#4, 6); Alice Ford – viola (#4, 6); Kevin Flynn – cello (#4, 6) )
One of the joys of reviewing jazz CDs is discovering young talent and helping spread the word of their gifts. Such is the case of Bloomington, Indiana, based alto saxophonist and clarinetist, Ana Nelson. Her new CD, Bridges, which is self released, will hit the streets in early September.
Ana’s maturity is on immediate display on the seven tracks. She composed all the material, and she shows mastery in blending multiple genres, whether it be jazz, classical, and Brazilian choro rhythms. Her tone is warm and bright. And her cross blends are both inviting and swing with ease. There is not a weak track here, and I marveled at the fact that she is not more well known.
Her pianist, Jamaal Baptiste, co-produced and plays on almost every song. On “Blue Flower” and “Let the Light In,” she employs a string quartet and the classical influence both calms and elates. Ana’s alto soars on the opening “Wanderlust,” while Baptiste’s piano lines are sparkling. She is just as adept on clarinet, as shown on “Waltz.” Brendan Keller-Tuberg has a nice bass solo here as well, and Carter Pearson’s drums propel the group.
“LCB” has a lilting melody that is intoxicating, and Ana and Jamaal blend seamlessly. Ana’s love for Brazilian music is highlighted on the clarinet/ piano duo, “NelBap Choro.”
This superb CD ends with a straight ahead jazz track, “Fruit of the Groove,” on which her father, Bill Nelson’s tenor sax, is featured. Ana shows strong jazz cred, further proof that she can handle whatever comes her way genre-wise.
Nelson crosses many “bridges” on her debut full length release. Let’s hope this release gets some strong airplay. It certainly deserves acclaim…
Let the Light In
Fruit of the Groove
For more information, please visit the artist’s website, Ana Nelson: