Newsletter readers, here’s this week’sprize draw: Derek Nash new album Joyriding . Nash describes one feature of the album the liner notes:
“I’m delighted to have co-composed several tunes with my father, Pat Nash, who for so many years arranged for the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra.” From the very first bars of the title track, there is that sense of a classy arranger (or, it would seem, two) at work, as Derek Nash and Martin Shaw set off happily in tandem.
Three tracks credit them both as composer: the gentle “Waltz for my Father”, an uptempo swinger “The Time of Your Life”, kicking against a dominant pedal, and a laid-back latiny Mulliganish baritone feature,“Haunting Me.”
And there are sounds from the past which I recognize – and like -a lot. The opening track of the 1962 RCA Victor album Two of a Mind with Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan, Jerome Kern’s All The Things You Are gets a nice makeover. Nash takes the (Mulligan) baritone part, the bright right hand of Dave Newton gets the (Desmond) alto part, and in place of a gruff Wendell Marshall from 1962, you have a clean, positive Geoff Gascoyne on bass, and his regular sparring partner Seb de Krom on drums, in perfect lock-step.
Voodoo Rex is a shuffle dedicated to sax repairer/ manufacturer Steve Goodson, and features Winston Rollins on trombone. De Krom is crisp and precise throughout, but particularly on the opening to The Time of Yor Life and Nash’s Majolica. There’s only one real ballad- Love at First Sound , but the core tempo and vibe of this album are nevertheless unhurried. All in all a classy piece of work.