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Full Nelson

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Album Review

Although vibraphonist Steve Nelson had been on the jazz scene for some time, Full Nelson marked his debut as a leader. Accompanied by two fine musicians, the highly sought-after bassist Ray Drummond and pianist Kirk Lightsey (who, like Nelson, is still deserving of wider recognition), he put together a thoughtful program of standards, great jazz compositions, and a pair of originals, though his playing is much softer than on typical recordings which followed. This session evolved from an extended gig in 1989 led by Nelson with the identical sidemen at the late, lamented New York landmark Bradley's. The resulting sound of this mostly ballad set is very intimate, with Nelson not having to use much volume on his instrument in order to be heard. The underlying pulse of "The Nearness of You" is carried by Drummond, as Lightsey ducks in and out in support of Nelson. His catchy "Blues for George A" is also very subtle and deliberately underplayed. The lush treatment of the infrequently heard "The Star-Crossed Lovers" will please fans of Duke Ellington, while the unusually extended workout of "Chelsea Bridge" is also highly rewarding. The packaging is the only defect of this excellent CD, as "The Star-Crossed Lovers" is inexplicably credited to pop singer Neil Sedaka instead of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, while Strayhorn's landmark piece "Chelsea Bridge" is listed as written by Ellington. Such sloppy research on the part of the label is inexcusable.


Born: 1955 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Steve Nelson developed in the 1990s into one of the most promising of the vibraphonists around, influenced by Milt Jackson but gradually developing his own sound. After gigging with Grant Green in the early '70s, Nelson picked up important experience playing with Kenny Barron, James Spaulding, Bobby Watson, and David "Fathead" Newman, and has played in a countless number of settings beginning in the '90s. Nelson has recorded as a leader for Criss Cross, Red, Sunnyside,...
Full bio
Full Nelson, Steve Nelson
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 01 February 1990

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