Exposé Online banner

Nathan Parker Smith — Not Dark Yet
(BrklynJazzUndergrnd BJUR 048, 2014, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-02-24

Not Dark Yet Cover artJazz is not my musical genre, so I may not be doing this new release justice but I will give it my best shot. Brooklyn-based composer and band leader Nathan Parker Smith has assembled a large ensemble for his debut release Not Dark Yet. The result is something like a marriage of big band, Miles Davis, and Robert Fripp, but without the guitar. There are reams of exploding harsh dissonance, very tight arrangements, and frequently melodic passages. The disc lasts only about 36 minutes, but over that time you experience eleven different instrumental tracks, the longest clocking in at five minutes. So there is just the right amount of time to fully explore each of Nathan’s ideas without overwhelming the listener. There is a lot of energy bubbling just below the surface on each track, as well as a myriad of rhythmic and melodic themes running in parallel. Some of the tracks have titles that perfectly capture the essence of the music, “Solace” with its quiet e-piano intro that slowly adds new elements without layering the music, “Spin” with lots of cycling drums, brass, and bass evoking a West Side Story vibe, and “Build and Destroy” with its controlled chaos. Perhaps the best track, in my opinion, is “Fog over East” that is quiet and formless for the first half and slowly develops some structure with the added horns. If this review from a non-jazz specialist sounds at all interesting, please be sure to seek out this disc.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Nathan Parker Smith

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bang on a Can - Music for Airports – Ambient music has come a long way since 1978 when innovator Brian Eno drafted his original experiment for use in large international airports. The intent was for passengers to feel good about boarding...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues