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Greg Nielsen and his Quartet in Florida, 1/27/12

Trombonist and his quartet bring versatility and experience to Venice, Fla.

Trombonist Greg Nielsen brought his quartet, and a lot of versatility, to the Venice Art Center in southwest Florida on January 27 for an SRO performance. Nielsen’s quartet included pianist Dick Reynolds, bassist John Lamb and drummer/singer Dave Pruyn. Nielsen, a longtime bandleader, educator and sideman, is an engaging performer who loves digging into jazz standards. One highlight was his take on Lee Morgan’s “Ceora,” which the quartet performed as a bossa nova.

While trombone is his primary instrument, Nielsen also played at various points flugelhorn, trumpet, a two-belled double euphonium and a slide trumpet. The unusual euphonium hybrid was quite a marvel to hear. During Nielsen’s solos on “Lullaby of Birdland,” he shifted back and forth between middle and low registers. (“The nice thing,” he quipped, “is that I can make two mistakes at once now.”)

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