Trombonist Doug Beavers produced the album and is the leader of this nine piece band of New York musicians. Beavers played with the Mingus Big Band and Eddie Palmieri establishing a good reputation amongst the musical community there. Beavers indicated he enjoys arranging and leading this type of group with his arrangements. He comes with an impressive education in music.
The beginnings of this group were in 2000 with the players getting together once a month for a gig. Beavers arranged all nine compositions on the album, four of which are his songs. The beauty of this 2010 album release is the tight playing of the players and the sound of almost a big band.
The overall jazz sound of Two Shades of Nude
is eclectic with varying rhythms. Beavers in his arrangements is reaching out in a concert band style, being at times a bit semi-symphonic. He is experimenting with a sound that works!
The title track "Two Shades of Nude" gave a very good preview of the nonet including several of the musicians taking solos. There is a strong solid sound in the call and response of the sections of the nonet and they play tightly. The first five tracks move nicely. There is some variation in rhythm and times and solos, and section passages with the horns versus rhythm. Then comes "Gemini" that is very symphonic and then jumps to "Hand Jive" which caught my attention as being a bit towards the free-jazz sound but with organization (oxymoron?). Beavers worked the horns together with a very strong harmony unison voicing. The sound recording is excellent with all instruments coming through well.
This is Beavers' second album as leader and I look forward to more coming from this great musician, composer, and arranger.