Nick Brignola: Tears Inside
Nick Brignola (baritone sax)
On a Different Level (Reservoir RSR CD 112)
Composed by Ornette Coleman.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 25, 1989
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
The late Nick Brignola was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, but it was on his main instrument – the baritone sax – that he most impressed. Possessing a striking solidity and clarity of tone from the top to bottom of the big horn, along with exceptional improvisational skills in almost any context, Brignola is among the baritone sax greats. On one of his best CDs, made up mostly of standards, the early Ornette Coleman blues "Tears Inside" stands out. The original version had Percy Heath and Shelly Manne rather conventionally locked in rhythm-wise. If only Ornette had Holland and DeJohnette (or, of course, Haden and Higgins) to interact with, as Brignola does here. Brignola plays the classic line with just Holland's simpatico bass support, the baritone's resounding tone, especially in the lower register, grabbing the listener. As Nick begins his wailing, prancing solo, DeJohnette joins in with rhythmically diverse commentary, and finally Barron's piano enters as Brignola continues his unflagging creation. After Barron's gliding solo, sax and piano effectively take the theme out together.
Reviewer: Scott Albin