Album Review

Nathanson, Roy “Sotto Voce” [Aum Fidelity]

Thurston Hunger   5/1/2006   A Library

** Beatbox alert!! Beatbox alert!! Beatbox alert!! **
Sorry, but I had to get the signal out, cause there are a
group of dedicated DJ’s bound by an oath to seek out and
play beatbox related releases…and this one, this is very
special. You’ll be halfway through track four when you say
to yourself, wait, there’s NO stick-y or bone-y percussion
on here, just words (really syllables: verbal tics, ptacks
and ooohs). This is an album that is going to get a lot of
word of mouth and it puts its money where all five mouths
are in the quintet, everyone chipping in with vocals from
time to time. I think that encourages folks to have fun here,
listeners and musicians alike. I really dug Sam Bardfield’s
violin teetering and soaring in and out of songs. Nathanson
is strong, and not just breezing through. His closing to
“London Story” is killer, while he and Bardfield share a
solemn start to an adapted version of Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s
“Inflated Tear” later on Nathanson is twin-reed feeding it
strength ala Rahsaan. That melody is so memorable that it
towers a little over the newly added words, but at least it
is a cover that changes things up! The gang definitely has
a playful swing going on a lot of tracks, “Shake” pops its
p’s and minds its cues p-p-perfectly. There’ll be more than
jazz-minded passengers hoping on board this release, Tin Sex
Trio Mob mad Hatters are invited! A very refreshing release,
bright and beautifully recorded. From Napoleon Maddox’s lips
thru your beatbox locks to your eager ears! -Thurston Hunger

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