He is sweeping and powerful on a dazzling, spirited rendition of his composition...
Two years ago, upon the release of his stunning first CD, Notoriety, we reveled in the mature genius of this most erudite and articulate man and musician (Boy, are we happy he elected to record, because he was ready!). Nordal's fascinating imagination and technique gave goose bumps and brought a tear to this jazz lover weary of all the current crepe hung to the future of jazz.
With this recording, Ways of the Hand, Nordal cuts yet another batch of diamonds. Distinguished bassist and fellow One O'Clocker Bob Bowman of Kansas City and Seattle-based drummer John Bishop provide confident improvisation, sensitive interplay and a perfectly grounded pulse, all essential to jazz. The history of jazz is partially recapitulated here with an eerily accurate recreation of one piece by Art Tatum plus an original arrangement in the style of Fats Waller. In these and other tracks, Nordal in no way mocks the musical mannerisms of the masters, but demonstrates a fondly reverential approach to their greatness. Then, it's on to tomorrow with two stunning free-form pieces, "Ways of the Hand" and "First Light."
This is mature music of highest intelligence and emotional power and can be deeply enjoyed by anyone willing to really listen. Headphones for focus are highly recommended. If you mentally ask yourself, "Hey, wait a minute! Is this played back faster than recorded?" or "How can music flow out like this so perfectly?" you are using your "roof-top" brain, the highest level of consciousness and optimum place from which to dock emotionally with these artists.
- Cone Johnson (excerpt from the liner notes)
1 ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE 7:08 - Kern / Hammerstein
2 WILLOW WEEP FOR ME 3:04 - A. Ronell
3 LOVE 4:16 - B. Kaempfert
4 I GOT RHYTHM 6:49 - Gershwin
5 WAYS OF THE HAND 4:19 - M. Nordal
6 LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY 5:18 - Kern / Gershwin
7 I CONCENTRATE ON YOU 4:03 - C. Porter
8 EMILY 5:44 - Mandel / Mercer
9 I REMEMBER YOU 5:31 - Mercer / Schertzinger
10 FIRST LIGHT 5:39 - M. Nordal
11 SWANEE RIVER 3:14 - S. Foster
12 WTO BLUES 3:09 - M. Nordal
Produced by Marius Nordal
Recorded at Triad Studios, Redmond, Washington on March 20 & 24, 2000
Engineered & mixed by Tom Hall
Mastered by Ross Nyberg at Studio X, Seattle, Wa.
Design & Layout by John Bishop
All Music Guide (Dave Nathan)
The title of this album, Ways of the Hand, does not refer to the trickery of a clever magician. Rather it describes the one of a kind styles and talents of the six piano artists to whom Marius "Butch" Nordal pays tribute on this his second release for the Origin label. It's too bad that these tracks aren't arranged in chronological order so one can ...
Berman Music Review (Butch Berman)
It's getting hard to keep up with the breadth of material - and most of it, in my opinion, is very good - from Origin Records. Another group of great talented guys (as with Don Lanphere) - still never met face-to-face but have been musically acquainted since both (BMF and Origin) of our inceptions. Their current Seattle catalog is growing and is of ...