Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nir Felder Golden Age Okeh 2014


Nir Felder is on the cutting edge of impressionistic creativity and not a slave to convention.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
In 2010, Nir Felder was proclaimed as the next big jazz guitarist...While that title continues to elude some of the best players in the word, Felder does work the creative tightrope without a net. Golden Age has Felder joined by trio of musicians that also understand not just a larger conceptualized picture but the have the innate ability to crawl inside a song for lyrical development and not self indulgent exploration.
 
Golden Age as a title is more of a musical question than a statement looking for and perhaps at the musical comparisons between the tough economic times from the late 80's and drawing a parallel between the flat lined failure of what was promised to Americans under the guise of "Hope and Change." Felder and his band drew from speeches Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton, and Malcolm X for his lyrical inspiration with the end results embracing a more sweeping cinematic feel. Jazz or improvisational music in the strictest sense? Uh, no...Music is desperate need of a fine feature film? You are getting warmer!
 
From a purely technical standpoint, Nir Felder has kept one foot firmly in his guitar past while embracing new possibilities that are ahead in his harmonic future. The NPR label of "the next big jazz guitarist" while nice is wildly inaccurate as players are developing at a rapid fire pace. Today's next big thing is the memory of yesterday. Nir Felder continues to play to the beat of his own drums and with captivating results.
 
4 Stars.
 
Tracks: Lights; Bandits; Ernest / Protector; Sketch 2; Code; Memorial; Lover; Bandits II; Slower Machinery; Before The Tsars.
 
Personnel: Nir Felder: Electric and Acoustic Guitar; Aaron Parks: Piano; Matt Penman: Bass; Nate Smith: Drums.