Warne Marsh: The Nearness of You


The Nearness of You


Warne Marsh (tenor sax)


A Ballad Album (Criss Cross Jazz 1007)

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Warne Marsh (tenor sax), Lou Levy (piano),

Jesper Lundgaard (bass), James Martin (drums)


Composed by Ned Jones and Hoagy Carmichael


Recorded: April 7, 1983


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Warne Marsh's 1983 session for A Ballad Album seems to promise some lyrical, late-night performances from the celebrated tenorist. But Marsh is more the logician than the romantic on this track, constructing his lines with architectonic precision. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Few improvisers do a better job of building creative phrases to fit the old chord changes than Marsh, and he is one artist who is at his best when he is the most analytical. This ballad is like a slo-mo replay, in which the tenorist's relaxed approach and the slow tempo give us a chance to savor every little twist and turn. My only gripe is that Marsh doesn't stretch his solo out for another chorus or two.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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