New York based Canadian saxophonist and composer, Quinsin Nachoff, is one of the leading innovators of modern/neo-classical jazz music today. His last release, Magic Numbers, was named one of the top 10 New Releases of 2006 by the Philadelphia City Paper. This latest release of six original compositions features pianist, John Taylor, and cellist, Ernst Reijseger.
The way Nachoff blends the various elements and instruments into improvisation is truly inspired and his band mates here serve to strengthen each composition by expanding upon each idea presented.
Nachoff’s soprano saxophone is highlighted in the first track "Bogardus Place," a composition that evolved during Nachoff’s first NYC experience with musical partner, Kent Emerson, back in 2000.
"Desert Landscapes" features a moving violin solo by Nathalie Bonin. Track three, "A River Remembers Rain" draws influence from Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy. This track proves to be a most delightful improvisational piece. "Cartoon-scape" was inspired by cartoon music composers Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling. The quick, almost erratic pace of this composition as well as the blending of different styles beautifully captures the feeling of visual animation.
The fifth track, "Glacial Lake," for Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, has a straightforward and strong, but crisp and airy feel to it, the strings highlighting the simple form of the composition. "African Skies" closes out this production with some excellent piano improvisation and cello solos. The pizzicato violins highlight the African-esque style but there is also a hint of Latin American and Balkan influence evident here.
Nachoff and band mates offer up an impressive, intense, and colorful musical experience with Horizons Ensemble.