Steve Nelson

Fuller Nelson

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At this juncture of the vibraphonist's career, Steve Nelson is mostly known for his tenure with the Dave Holland Quintet and this mellow and conventional session might surprise many. It is, however, the logical follow-up to Full Nelson with which it shares the same mood and personnel. Pianist Kirk Lightsey and bassist Ray Drummond are exceptional musicians and, unfortunately, this rather lethargic session is not the best showcase for their respective talents. The musicians' lack of histrionics is such that repeated listening is necessary to find the few nuggets. The program mostly consists of standards and Nelson originals. The best tracks are, however, the two pieces contributed by Lightsey. "Heaven Dance" is arguably one of his best compositions and "Laila in Blues" benefits from a beautiful solo introduction by the leader. In contrast, Nelson's "Original #2," which runs under two minutes, would have deserved a fuller treatment. At the same time, the composition seems to have been added as an afterthought. Overall, the playing is fine and tasteful, but due to the slow pace and the musicians' subdued demeanor,the music does not spark enough interest.

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