Nelson Foltz

The Longing Hours

Syberdelix Records, MMNF040202

Kenny Ascher, piano and fender rhodes; Stephen Benson, guitars; Mike Davis, acoustic bass; Mat Deveau, udu and clay drums; Daniel Dorrance, alto flute; George Flynn, bass trombone; Nelson Foltz, trombone; Michel Gohler, bass clarinet, conductor; Jennifer Harris, background vocals; Gerry Leonard, guitars, hammond organ, spooky loops; Carolyn Leonhart, vocals; Tom Lynn, bass clarinet, alto flute; MaryAnne Marino, vocals; Coco Taguchi, violin and viola; Rob Thomas, acoustic bass; Mary Wooten, cello

Nelson Foltz is a discrete musician, one of those quiet technicians who has been playing professionally for years and yet has only recently begun exploring his own voice and his own music. On his first album, Foltz not only unfolds a very personal and lyrical sound, but also a nack for putting an album and a concept together.

The album is certainly best described by its title. A mix of nostalgia and late-night lost-love stereotypes, it does everything it can to fall into the category of "soothing Jazz for the soul". However, the music stands up for itself. Foltz's sound on "Disabled", one of his originals, takes on a soft and original lilt that carries it rhythmically over Benson's lyrical guitar and Thomas' grounded bass lines. Foltz plays a beautiful solo rendition of the standard, "I Fall in Love Too Easily", in which you can almost hear the echo on the buildings, fittingly appropriate, but tastefully melodic.

Foltz's compositions make the album stand apart from most atmospheric hodge-podge, surprising the listener with a beautiful solo alto-flute composition conjuring up a stunning melodicism; a delicately short duet between Carolyn Leonhart (whose voice sounds vaguely reminiscent of Elvis Costello's stylings) and Ascher's keyboard, wich opens and closes the album; Foltz's arrangement of "I See You Again", stunningly beautiful, with a mix of ambient electronics and bass clarinet rumblings.

A valient effort, I'm looking forward to hearing Foltz's next effort, and to hear his sound and vision grow and change.

by Stefan Zeniuk

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