Reviews that mention Nasheet Waits

August 6, 2016

Festival Report

Ljubljana Jazz Festival
By Ken Waxman

Located on both banks of the picturesque Ljubljanica River, Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, is a pleasant city containing, unique historical edifices mostly designed by the city’s early 20th century starchitect Jože Plečnik. Ljubljana is replete with pedestrian-only areas, especially near the iconic Triple Bridge, with parts of its main street restricted to public transit and bicycles. In modern times, Ljubljana has been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, under Italian or French control, ruled by native dictators and kings and a member of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Declaring independence in 1991, Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004. Always supportive of improvised music, the Ljubljana Jazz Festival celebrated its 57th anniversary June 29th-July 2nd this year. Performances were presented in different indoor spaces and the back-garden of the multi-level Cankarjev Dom cultural centre, one of Europe’s largest. MORE

September 6, 2014

TarBaby with special guests Oliver Lake & Marc Ducret

RogueArt ROG-0048

By Ken Waxman

Thematic without being officious Fanon is a loose homage to the revolutionary concepts of psychiatrist/author Frantz Fanon (1925-1961). Martinique-born Fanon, radicalized during his time in Algeria in the’50 as member of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), wrote books such as Black Skins, Black Masks which influenced Marxists and Black Panthers. But with only brief spoken word sections as introduction and finale, this CD is an estimable demonstration of finely honed expressive music, not agitprop. Ironically it also demonstrates sonic cooperation: the contributions from two guests, alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, a founding member in the Black Artists Group, and guitarist Marc Ducret from France, the then colonial power against which the FLN was fighting, add strength and sophistication to this program. MORE

June 15, 2014

Tony Malaby Tamarindo

Somos Agua
Clean Feed CF 304 CD

By Ken Waxman

An essay on the intricacies of saxophone improvisation, New York tenor man Tony Malaby explorers every nuance of reed sounds on this matchless session, backed only by the four-square pacing of William Parker’s double bass and the rhythmic flow of drummer Nasheet Waits. Reminiscent of similar trio tours-de-force by Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, the seven selections make up a suite whose parts flow logically and seamlessly into one another. At the same time, Malaby’s solos confirm his experimental credo by exposing as many split tones and screeches as emotive flutters and gentling tones. MORE

April 16, 2013


nWog Records NWOG 005

Tony Bevan/Joe Morris/Tony Buck/Dominic Lash

Tony-Joe Bucklash

Foghorn FOGCD 016

Pumped up past the expected, despite the common saxophone-guitar-bass-drums configuration are these CDs. Although each features an American playing with a European unit, the path to quality is achieved by different routes.

In one case perhaps visiting Boston guitarist Joe Morris could be the spark plug for the extended go-for-broke improvising on Tony-Joe Bucklash, since the three other British players have singly and together frequently recorded outstanding work in the past. Besides Morris, known for his association with the likes of bassist William Parker and saxophonist Joe Maneri, Oxford-based reedist Tony Bevan is not only one of the (few) masters of the bass saxophone, but equally proficient on tenor and soprano. Berlin-based Aussie drummer Tony Buck is a long-time member of the Necks; while bassist Dominic Lash is busy in both New York and London. Rather than Morris being the only special guest, this CD also marks the first recorded meeting by Bevan with both bassist and drummer. MORE

November 16, 2012

Greg Lewis

Organ Monk: Uwo in the Black
No label No #

For someone who was initially mocked as a pianist while grudgingly praised for his compositions, the 30 years since Thelonious Monk’s death have seen numerous pianists struggling with playing his tunes properly because their interpretation is either too close to Monk’s or too far removed.

Greg Lewis negates the conundrum by sticking to his main instrument – the Hammond organ – on this tribute to Monk’s music. Additionally he adapts the nine Monk originals and four of his own compositions here to the parameters of the combo in which he regularly plays in New York clubs like the 55 Bar, Lennox Lounge and The Night of the Cookers. With hard-toned tenor saxophonist Reginald R. Woods, supplely swinging guitarist Ronald Jackson and the originality of drummer Nasheet Waits onboard, he brings Monk uptown where the High Priest of Bebop started his career. By exposing the funk underlay of Monk’s compositions, this original conception is a superior tribute to the man’s music, enhancing with more nuance than any number of piano-centred discs demonstrate. MORE

May 11, 2012

Amir ElSaffar’s Two Rivers Ensemble

PI Pi41

Paal Nilssen-Love, Mesele Asmamaw, Mats Gustafsson

Baro 101

Terp Records AIS-19

David Sait

History Ship

Apprise Records AP-05

Rudresh Mahanthappa


ACT Music ACT 9513-2

Something in the Air: Provocative Ethnic Blends

By Ken Waxman

Product of musical miscegenation, jazz has always been most welcome to sound influences. Meanwhile much of so-called ethnic music, especially from non-Western countries, features some variants of improvisation. Blending the freedom of jazz with aleatory additions from other cultures produces provocative sounds as these CDs attest. Yet all are noteworthy because, rather than using either music as mere exotica or rhythmic overlay, each is performed with the same respect. MORE

February 12, 2011

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo

Clean Feed CF 200CD

By Ken Waxman

Despite the overtly Christian religious iconography on the cover of Tamarindo Live, it would seem that the faith affirmed by this expanded version of saxophonist Tony Malaby’s band is that of free jazz. Moreover, the addition of veteran trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, certainly no fundamentalist, to the core trio filled out by second-generation drum stylist Nasheet Waits and free jazz’s most omnipresent bassist William Parker, elevates the program to an even higher spiritual and sonic plane. MORE

May 17, 2010

Komeda Project

WM Records WMD-0-358852-2

Although to their detriment far too many contemporary jazz CDs are tribute discs to some departed musical giant, a few bring enough originality to the project to be notable on their own. Requiem is one of those because its protagonists – pianist Andrzej Winnicki and tenor and soprano saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna – have spared us yet another run through of the Duke Ellington, Miles Davis or John Coltrane catalogue. Instead they celebrate a Polish countryman, known in North America for his film scores, but who was equally renowned in Poland for his jazz work. MORE

April 3, 2008

Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet

Inner Constellation Volume One
Nemu 007

By Ken Waxman

Taking up most of the CD with his almost 47½-minute Inner Constellation suite, Manhattan-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil structures his composition to take advantage of the cohesive layered textures available from each section of his mini-orchestra. With the strings Jean Cook’s violin, Tom Abbs’s bass, and his own guitars; the horns trumpeter Nate Wooley and saxophonist Aaron Ali Shaikh; plus Nasheet Waits drums, the through-composed work is properly represented, while individual improvisations are showcased as well. MORE

June 7, 2004


Fred Hersch Trio + 2
Palmetto Records PM 2099

Back in 1977, as a change of pace, pianist Bill Evans added saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh to his trio of the time for CROSSCURRENTS, a Fantasy LP that amplified and enhanced his usual sounds.

Fred Hersch, who is arguably Evans’ heir in subtle inventiveness, does almost the same thing on this CD. The results are outstanding, giving an added robustness to the pianist’s compositions, which have a tendency to be overly fragile and prosaically mainstream in other situations. MORE