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Nick Finzer

Hear & Now





We The People

The Silent One

Single Petal Of A Rose

Again And Again

Race To The Bottom

New Beginnings

Lullaby For An Old Friend

Dance Of Persistence

Love Wins.

Nick Finzer (trombone): Lucas Pino (tenor sax, bass clarinet): Alex Wintz (guitar): Glenn Zaleski (piano): Dave Baron (bass): Jimmy MacBride (drums)

Recorded at Bunker Studios, Brooklyn, NYC, June 2016


Young trombonist Nick Finzer has begun to establish himself on the scene as a stylish practitioner whose playing shows allegiances to JJ Johnson. The sextet here is literate, articulate, straight-talking and full of alert voicings, the trombone and tenor (doubling bass clarinet) leads enjoying fine interplay. With the exception of Ellingtonís Single Petal of a Rose, all the composition are by Finzer.

We the People shows the modus operandi Ė a fast-paced theme with an avid, muscular trombone solo and fine voicings between the front line and comping piano figures. Add to that an astute Alex Wintz guitar solo and you feel immediately the groupís fresh and youthful spirit, one grounded on bop forbears. The smooth angularity of The Silent One with Lucas Pinoís sinewy tenor to the fore as it cries and recoils, further suggests the range involved as does the rich romanticism of the Dukeís composition, the warm rounded bass clarinet and the contrasting trombone statements borne aloft over the ripe piano allusions of Glenn Zaleski. Shades of 52nd Street haunt the bop-like anthemic opening of Race to the Bottom where the cushion springs of the rhythm section are solid, compact, unfaltering and where bassist Dave Baron proves a model of strength, rhythmic and timbral.

One of the most beautiful moments on the disc comes in New Beginnings where a strain of hymnal simplicity emerges, the bass clarinet soling lyrically, the bass solo adding plangency and richness, along with the rich supportive piano chording. Clearly this isnít a group to avoid lyricism, romance and even a degree of intimacy. For all the coiling, cooking front line, and for all the dexterous voice-combinations that add lustre and vibrancy, home, plain truths still hit home, as here. Lullaby for an Old Friend is more genial than melancholy, its rhythms proving genial in Finzerís admirable soloing, And as if to prove the point the closer is Love Wins, another example of controlled lyricism in which the premium on shifting voicings and subtle harmonies underscores the breadth and strength of colour to be encountered.

This disc serves notice of a terrific trombone talent but also a tunesmith. Letís hope the band stays intact to reprise and develop this excellent disc.

Jonathan Woolf

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