Alva Nelson Music Reviews

Cadence: The Independent Journal Of Creative Improvised Music

Oct -Nov -Dec 2010 Vol. 36 No. 10-11-12 (394)

Pianist ALVA NELSON and his trio (Nelson, p; Harry Anderson* or Chris White, b; Cecil Brooks ill, d; Larry Washington, perc#) come on strong in the opening Track to SOUL EYES (Alva Nelson, no #), an original by Nelson called "Synonymous Dichotomy," a burner that doesn't leave much space to breathe. They turn it around and relax a bit on their version of the Mal Waldron classic that serves as the title track, making it immediately clear that Nelson bas got a lot of range. Over the course of eleven songs (Synonymous Dichotomy#/ Soul Eyes/ Gemini Baby*/Sanctified Blues/ Body and Soul/ Sweetcake*/ Some Other Time/ A La Jarrett#/ Song For Keisha* / Buster's Bounce*/ 'Round Midnight 70:09. Aug 1993, Englewood, NJ) Nelson comes across as a versatile journeyman, comfortable in a range of Jazz styles.

The pianist also wrote seven of the pieces, from the aptly-named "Sanctified Blues" to the pretty ballad "Song For Keisha." He's a straight-ahead pianist who sounds like he would be at home in the Jazz world of the Fifties and Sixties. The biggest mystery about this rather pleasing if thoroughly generic outing Is why it's being promoted so long after it was recorded.

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