Jan 21, 2014
The debut release from Nir Felder, Golden Age, showcases the fine young guitarist in a number of different formats and styles. He effortlessly moves from Frisell-like Americana (“Bandits”) to sample-heavy sounds (“Lights”) to Metheny-esqe runs (“Ernest/Protector”) without batting an eye, nor without a drop in quality. Clearly Felder, who first drew raves as a member of Greg Osby’s band (as well as gigs with Joe Lovano and Jason Moran), has listened to and studied the modern jazz masters well.
There’s not a little of John Scofield’s less groove oriented work in Felder and that’s something of which to be proud. And yet, this is not a recording that mimics others. Felder is well on his way to creating his own clear, melodic sound.
He has wisely assembled a band that supports these sounds in pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Nate Smith. Parks in particular shines on “Ernest/Protector” and Penman’s wonderful harmonics buoy “Sketch 2.”
NPR has tagged Nir Felder “The Next Big Jazz Guitarist”. On the strength of Golden Age, they just might be right.