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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Chase

ORIGIN 82695



  1. Life Happens

  2. Spheres Of Influence

  3. All Hype

  4. Steadfast

  5. The Chase

  6. Acceptance

  7. While You're Gone

  8. Why Aren't You Excited

  9. Search For A Sunset

  10. Just Passed The Horizon (Intro)

  11. Just Passed The Horizon

Nick Finzer - Trombone

Lucas Pino - Saxophone

Alex Wintz - Guitar

Glenn Zaleski - Piano

Dave Baron - Bass

Jimmy MacBride - Drums

Nick Finzer is clearly a young musician of considerable promise, as a trombonist and as a composer. Indeed, he has already garnered awards in both categories. This, his second album as a leader, features his own compositions and arrangements. Almost all of the members of his sextet were present with Finzer on his debut album Exposition, the exception being pianist Glenn Zaleski. Although Lucas Pino is listed simply as playing saxophone (tenor), he can be heard playing bass clarinet on a couple of tracks. The overall cohesion of the band is impressive and makes for listenable and satisfying music.

It is noticeable from the outset just how well Finzer and Pino combine and the opening tracks amply illustrate that facet of their playing, along with providing evidence of the solo capability within the group. On All Hype, for instance, trombone and sax move smoothly through the gears and Finzer demonstrates how he can handle fast and slow tempos with equal poise. The tenor solo from Pino, meanwhile, is played with vim and vigour. Steadfast has a strong theme, a dreamy piano intro followed by Pino's suggestive bass clarinet and a moody (and muted) trombone. There is also a spirited bass solo from Dave Baron. The up-tempo title number, The Chase, has pace and panache. Trombone, tenor, guitar and piano all take their turn while Baron and MacBride lend top-notch support. Acceptance enables Wintz to show his calibre on guitar but this is strong overall and I rate it highly. As for While You're Gone, this appealing ballad provides a showcase for Finzer's muted trombone, Zaleski's sensitive piano and Dave Baron's tuneful bass.

Enough said. Every track has something for the discerning listener and the writing and playing has much to commend it throughout. Finzer speaks of how music comes alive and off the page when the composer is open to the contributions of others. That's just what he appears to have achieved here with his fellow-musicians.

James Poore

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