Alva Nelson Music Reviews

Alva Nelson
Soul Eyes
alva nelson - Soul Eyes 
Hard working pianist Alva Nelson puts forward a solid, if derivative, jazz album with his new release Soul Eyes. The album features Nelson solo on piano or accompanied by Harry Anderson's upright bass on most of the eleven tracks. On two tracks only the pianist uses a small combo featuring: veteran drummer Cecil brooks III, Chris White on bass, and Larry Washington on percussion.

Nelson's fingers are nimble and his approach fluid; he shines on the tracks that include the rhythm section, seeming to feed off of the groove. The solo and duo tracks show the pianist's expertise: he is able to create sonorous soundscapes with his soft touch on the keyboard; moving from gently voiced chords into into long flowing lines of bebop inspired improvisation effortlessly. 
If this album is missing anything it's an innovative fire. Nelson is adept at creating glossy, contemporary jazz, but there's nothing new to be heard here. Still, for those seeking quiet, romantic, and unchallenging, mood music, this album may fit the bill.

Tim Madison – Staff
November 13, 2009
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