Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
On a High Level
JIMWILLOUGHBY | Milledgeville, Georgia United States | 07/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nicholas Thomas (Nick) Brignola was born in Troy, New York in 1936. He studied at Ithaca and Berklee Music Schools, but like most jazz musicians, he learned to play by playing. He plays all the saxophones, clarinets and flute. My "instrument of choice" in his recordings (and personal appearances) is the baritone sax. His approach to the baritone sax is that of a technical virtuoso, who knows not the meaning of the word restraint. Yet, he plays with taste and develops well-conceived solos. Since the 1970s, Nick has been one of the finest players period. Constantly striving to take it to the next level, (one of his goals when he began his career) is overshadowed on the CD "On A Different Level." His exceptionally "fat" sound and fluid technique are ever present on his recordings. His ever present sense of "swing" and highly creative improvisation skills are also a forte. (Improvise-to compose, recite, play, or sing extemporaneously; in order to be considered jazz, the music must contain improvisation, swing, and have a certain emotional and rhythmic energy (groove) Nick plays in Bop Style on an instrument that's considered by many to be too big and to take too much air. Neither seem to bother Nick. He plays the "big sax" as fast as most bop players (bop-a jazz style primarily attributed to innovators Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespy) on the smaller woodwinds. "He technically knows no bounds."His tone reminds me of the great Harry Carney, baritone sax player with the Duke Ellington Band. Ellington formed the sonority of his entire band around Carney for more than three decades. Duke also made the baritone sax a "solo jazz instrument" by featuring Carney, primarily on beautiful ballads, written especially for him. Nick carries on this tradition too. His ballad playing exhibits extraordinary well sustained, beautiful melodic lines that are truly significant and on a level with any player on any instrument. In addition to his incredibly beautiful playing, he never fails to choose good tunes, Jazz Standards such as "Quicksilver, the opener on "On A Higher Level, by bop pianist, composer, Horace Silver, gorgeous ballads, blues, and now, more and more, compositions of his own...He also strengthens himself by recording with only other world class players. Rhythm sections often just "accompany." Brignola surrounds himself with world class players who all contribute greatly adding to the sum total for a wonderful listening experience. Of the earlier Brignola Recordings, this one belongs in every collection.5 StarsSome other noteworthy baritone sax players include the following: Art Pepper 1950?sSerge Chaloff-vintage 1950s: a wonderful, highly neglected player. Performed in the Woody Herman Herds. Of the available recordings of him as leader, "Blue Serge" is a classic. Serge Chaloff Memorial Cool & Blue, recorded in 1949 and The Fable of Mable, recorded in 1954 should also be a part of any serious jazzophile?s collection. Gerry Mulligan-representative of the "Cool School " of jazz style/a revolt against Bop. Other players of the cool school include Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and composer-arranger, Gil Evans."