Nathen Page

Thinking of You

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Guitarist Nathen Page sits down in Florida and releases one album after another exploring the many possibilities of the stringed instrument. This is his eighth album for his Hugo Music label, and one of his recorded library's finest. Like most of his albums, the play list is entirely made up of his compositions written to accommodate his slightly unorthodox way of playing. He uses a thumb pick, not on his thumb, but on the forefinger of his right hand. Perhaps this helps to explain his unique lines and phrasing. It seems at times that what you're hearing has to be an overdub. No such thing here, as this CD is a "live" in-studio performance. What one hears is what the group did together. This is Page's regular quartet. Pianist Kevin Bales is on the faculty of North Florida University. Florida State contributes drummer Leon Anderson, and bass player Jeff Handley is from Jacksonville. Together they run through the musical panache inherent in Page's pieces, with the blues as the foundation and other jazz modes layered on top. There's funky blues on "Blues in the Key of Page," a lovely ballad with "Carrie" (which he dedicated to a dear friend), and the title tune has an up-from-the-islands beat. Then there's slow-dragging blues with "Blues for Brad." And so it goes; each track offers something a little different from the one that preceded and from the one that will follow. It is simply mind-boggling how an artist with this much talent and who has been around for so many years isn't more in the forefront of jazz. Recommended.

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