Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Nolet Frontlines Be-Bop/Latin Violin
Josh Feldschneider | USA | 12/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, "Syzygy" is the best jazz violin record I have ever heard in my life. Nolet is by far the most outstanding Jazz violinist and violist to date! And that's a fact! I saw Nolet at the April 8th, '99 Washington Jazz Church concert in Greenwich Village New York City. It was not only an "awesomely" satisfying concert but I bought the CD "Syzygy" the next day at Tower Records. I saw him with Amiri Baraka, and Joseph Jarman (Art Ensemble of Chicago) at the same venue a couple of years back, which was impressive and modern. "Syzygy" on the other hand, frontlines Be-Bop/Latin Violin with a mainstream flavor. Nolet's playing on Coltrane's countdown as a violin/viola would make John Coltrane proud. I was thoroughly stunned that I violin could even do that. This CD is half standards and half originals, and begins with a latin-jazz version of Stanley Turrentine's "Shirley", showing Nolet's obvious mastery of the Latin Jazz idiom. Following Shirley is a sweet, cool, beautiful ballad; Nolet's arrangement of Coltrane's "Central Park West". Nolet sets off with his viola's deep lush overtones blending with brushes and vibraphone. His bowing breathes in alliance with the ensemble with some very tastey soloing. On "Syzygy" Nolet's compositional prowess shines throughout, featuring another latin jazz overture entitled "Sshh...Escuche", showing off Nolet's rhythmic virtuosity with a sweet charanga section. The title track "Syzygy" takes the modal route, with flashy but smooth trumpet/viola arrangements, and a Miles Davis influenced solo by Nolet, also featuring the virtuosity of "Blue Note" artist: Tim Hagans on trumpet. Pianist Arturo O'Farrill (Milestone)flashes his talent and experience throughout as well, no holds barred, and on Nolet's original: (beautifully sweet and bluesy) "Tycoon", Arturo plays in a flavor remniscent of McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans. A swingy, solid and witful "Mr. Rodrique" highlights flashy interplay between vibraphonist; Bryan Carrott, and Nolet's beautifully melodic violin. Jim Nolet rounds off the CD with a bouncy, samba-like version of Duke Ellington's "Angelica". Nolet flavors this piece with exceptional flair but keep's a soft light romantic touch. Overall, Nolet's choice of instrumentation and arrangements is superb. The ensemble, obviously New York's finest musicians, give good compliment and support to Nolet, as there couldn't be a more perfect unit. There is no schtick on this CD folks---just straight-forward Jazz. Nolet's first solo release which featured "David Murray" was an amazing CD also, but "Syzygy" is fresh and of today. It is easy to listen to, engaging, enjoyable, and most of all "cooooool". The problem I have with Nolet is: I want to hear more, that is, I can't wait for his next release!"