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Marty Nau: Hemisphere

This is Nau’s second recording, one that will do much to enhance his reputation as a rising alto player and composer. The program consists of Nau’s own compositions, save for Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Nancy,” and there’s plenty of hard playing and imaginative soloing.

Joining Nau, a veteran of the Navy Band Commodores, is pianist Robert Redd, who impresses throughout the 10-tune set, and Tom Williams, on trumpet, who adds the right touch of brass, whether swinging or setting up a lyrical mood. John Leonard is the pulse on bass, Dominic Smith is on drums, and Marguerite Baker adds interest with bass clarinet. Vocalist Rick Harris contributes to Nau’s “Love in Your Eyes,” which shows off the leader’s considerable solo chops.

And don’t miss the closer, “Bop for Box,” a fast-paced romp that lets the group-which has been together since 1990-stretch out and soar. The quartet’s style is intense and innovative; it would be worth your time to give them a listen.

Originally Published