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The Flatiron Suite

Jazzizit JITCD 00541



1. Flatiron Suite Part 1 – The Mountains
2. Flatiron Suite Part 2 – The Great Plains
3. Flatiron Suite Part 3 – East Slope Rivers
4. New York Walk
5. P.T.B.
6. Flat 5
7. Worcester Sorcery
8. Dream Of Peace
9. John G's Blues
Derek Nash – Alto, soprano and baritone saxes
Gary Plumley – Tenor sax, wood flute
Scott Garland – Alto and soprano saxes (tracks 1, 2, 3-8)
Adrian Revell - Tenor sax (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
Paul Booth – Tenor sax (tracks 4, 7-9)
Bob McKay – Baritone sax (tracks 1, 3, 5-9), alto flute (track 2)
Matt Wates – Alto sax (tracks 4, 9)
Nelson Rangell – Alto sax (tracks 2, 3)
Pete Adams – Keyboards (tracks 1-4, 7-9)
Simon Carter – Keyboards (tracks 5, 6)
Mike Bradley – Drums (tracks 1-3, 5, 6)
Mark Fletcher – Drums (tracks 4, 7-9)
Rony Barrak – Percussion (tracks 2, 3)

Derek Nash is one of the unsung heroes of British jazz. His brilliance on different kinds of saxophones is matched by his abilities as an arranger. Meanwhile, his Clowns Pocket Studio in London has produced consistently high-quality recordings of many British bands.

This disc celebrates the 25th anniversary of the founding of Sax Appeal, although the group hasn’t been going continuously for that period. In fact there have been various incarnations of the band, and Derek has often been busy with numerous other projects, including the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, the Soul Survivors and Nash’s own funk band Protect the Beat.

The first three tracks on this CD comprise The Flatiron Suite, written when Derek attended a conference at Boulder in Colorado, where he stayed at a house with a view of the mountains called the Flatirons. Part 1 evokes the heights and distances of Colorado, with a heartfelt soprano sax solo from Derek. Part 2 pictures the wide open spaces and their American Indian traditions, while Part 3 portrays the fast-flowing rivers of the area, with powerful alto on both tracks from Nelson Rangell.

The remaining items are also original compositions by Derek Nash, ranging from straight swing to jazz-funk and the tender slowie Dream of Peace. The album ends with the fiery John G’s Blues, complete with a scorching tenor-sax duel and some gratuitous Charlie Parker quotations. The only tune not written by Derek Nash is Flat 5, written by Derek’s father Pat Nash, a long-time arranger for the BBC’s highly-regarded Northern Dance Orchestra. It’s an easy-going swing number, with relaxed piano from Simon Carter.

The recorded sound is impeccable and the variety of music on the album illustrates Nash’s breadth and versatility.

Tony Augarde

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