Bar code: 8427328422611
Born and raised in Switzerland, saxophonist and composer Nicolas Masson made his first steps in improvisation and played in jazz ensembles at AMR, a very active musicians association and jazz club in Geneva. During a trip to New York City in 1999 he studies with Chris Potter. In 2000, Nicolas Masson moves to New York City for one year. He studies with Rich Perry and collaborates with local musicians including: Russ Johnson, Eivind Opsvik, Mark Ferber, Ohad Talmor, Jim Hershman, Bob Bowen and Jim Black. At the present time, he spends his time between New York and Geneva, working as a freelance saxophonist and saxophone teacher in addition to leading his own groups, his Quartet, Parallels and Paperclay.
"As is implied by the title, Yellow (A Little Orange) can be perceived as one thing at first glanceperhaps an attempt at the avant-garde by a group of talented young musicians but, when dissected further, holding much more complexity than simply one color tone.
This recording is a second for the Nicolas Masson Quartet and shows a type of maturity in modern music that is sought after by many musicians and listeners alike. Swiss Masson, here on tenor sax and bass clarinet, has the makings of a great player. His talents, a trio of quality NYC musicians and striking original compositions are a perfect blend. Russ Johnson (trumpet) is in particularly fine forma beautifully melodic and yet harmonically challenging solo on the title track is an ideal complement to the dissonant melody and feel of the tune. Eivind Opsvik (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums) blend together so nicely that the absence of a purely harmonic instrument is never noticed.
Yellow (A Little Orange) is surprisingly, and appropriately, melodic at times, too. Zelig is a gorgeous piece that manages to maintain the modern mentality of the album through its chordal structure and solo by the leader. Juxtapose that with the opening track, Good Buddy, and its highly atonal contemporary feel and a listener is left with an album that is not afraid to venture into different idioms while holding on to its original voice.
So what at first looks like simply avant-garde turns out to be that and much more. Massons quartet is a group of innovative and talented musicians that not only seem willing, but eager, to push boundaries in both directions." - By Christopher Shoe (All About Jazz)
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