Tue March 3, 2009
The jazz saxophonist and composer Ted Nash --- and his wonderful "Mancini Project."
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this edition of StudioTulsa, we chat with Ted Nash, the great NYC-based jazz saxophonist and composer. Nash is perhaps best known as a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra --- and as the leader of that orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, has noted, "He plays, on a virtuosic level, all of the reed instruments . . . [and] plays them all perfectly in tune, and has a personality on each one that's different." But Nash has also led several fine small-group combos of his own in the past, and continues to do so. On our show today, Nash talks about his latest CD as a leader, "The Mancini Project," which was released by Palmetto Records in 2008. Born in Los Angeles in 1959, Nash was playing with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Louis Bellson, Quincy Jones, and Gerry Mulligan while still in his teens. Since then, he has emerged as one of the leading sax-blowers on the New York scene, renowned for both his mainstream playing in the modern-jazz idiom as well as his more avant-garde performances and recordings. (You can learn more about Nash's various recordings, and about his many awards, his personal background, and so forth, at his web site: www.tednash.com.) Nash has received a great deal of acclaim for his playing --- from both critics and listeners alike --- and "The Mancini Project" is really just the most recent installment in his ongoing series of outstanding CDs on the Palmetto label. Indeed, as we discover on today's program, this newest CD by Nash takes an interesting autobiographical detail as its starting point --- namely, that Nash's father as well as his uncle both played in Henry Mancini's orchestra for many years. (Scott Gregory sits in for Rich Fisher as our host today.)