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Paul Nash

On the second CD by his nine-piece ensemble, the Manhattan New Music Project, guitarist, composer and arranger Paul Nash builds on the foundations of predecessors Gil Evans, Charles Mingus and Weather Report, to create a “classical jazz” ensemble sound that is contemporary while displaying traditional roots.

Featured soloists on The Soul of Grace (Soul Note) include trumpeter Jack Walrath, saxophonist Bruce Williamson and French hornist Tom Varner. Varner’s brassy sound and fluent bop solos contribute to the Gil Evans vibe on several pieces, while the leader’s distortion-laced guitar on “The Phoenix” recalls the heartfelt interpretations of Jimi Hendrix’s music performed by Evans’ jazz orchestra in the 1980s.

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