A few recent spins of the album -- Jazz at Lincoln
Center’s first release in conjunction with the
Orchard, and its first new release of any sort in nearly four years -- reconfirmed
my enthusiasm for the music. Nash, whose solo career, while always
mindful of traditions, reaches well outside a “traditional” nexus, features the orchestra in its most flattering light. The playing is
strong, the writing robust. I imagine it will go over just as well next week (Feb.
4 to 6) as it did two years ago.
Back then, I covered Portrait with a lengthy feature about Nash and his project. There’s not a whole lot to add now, except that I’m especially glad no Picassos were damaged in the making of this piece. Also: if you have five spare minutes, check out the accompanying video (scroll past “multimedia” down to “video,” and then watch in Full Screen mode). In addition to Nash’s comments and some rehearsal footage, you’ll see a shot of this reporter interrogating his subject in front of Demoiselles d’Avignon. Ann Temkin, soon to be installed as MoMA’s chief curator, was smart enough to stay out of the frame.