Borton makes being a hip, swinging, soulful guitar player, relevant again.
With a fat, warm tone threading through the jazz cymbal groove with poetic patience, guitarist Nathan Borton celebrates his Midwest musical inspirations - particularly Grant Green & Wes Montgomery - with blues-drenched lines & rhythms on this, his debut recording. Along with jazz masters Xavier Davis on piano, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Keith Hall, and the front line of saxophonist Diego Rivera & bass trombonist Chris Glassman, we don't just hear a tribute to evergreen jazz guitar purism, but rather a complete, satisfying journey through the rich tradition of straight-ahead jazz. From the hard swinging "Milestones," or Tin Pan Alley classics such as "Just One of Those Things," through five originals from Borton and his mentor/producer Randy Napoleon, we discover a young talent with a deep wellspring of ideas and a penchant for surprising musical moments.
1. Each Step 5:48 Borton
2. Just One of Those Things 5:34 Cole Porter
3. The More I See You 5:24 H. Warren & M. Gordon
4. Milestones 4:37 Miles Davis
5. What Now? 4:37 Borton
6. These Are the Things We Throw Away 5:10 Randy Napoleon
7. Change 6:56 Borton
8. Grantstand 3:51 Grant Green
9. Grant's Groove 4:22 Borton
Nathan Borton - guitar
Xavier Davis - piano
Rodney Whitaker - bass
Keith Hall - drums
Diego Rivera - tenor saxophone (4,5,7)
Chris Glassman - bass trombone (5,7)
Produced by Randy Napoleon
Recorded by Corey DeRushia at
Troubadour Recording Studios, Lansing, MI
Recorded on June 2-3 2021
Assistant Engineer: Jim Alfredson
Mixed by Nathan Borton, Lansing, MI
Mastered by JJ Golden Mastering, Ventura, CA
Photos by Jessica D. Cowels
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
The 1960s were fine and formative times for jazz guitar. Wes Montgomery was there. So was Grant Green. The pair led the pack, and still do, to an extent. Guitarist Nathan Borton, with his debut recording, Each Step, embraces the traditions of these two influences. Borton's sound comes directly out of the straight ahead bebop style, beginning wit ...
SEMJA (Michigan) (Linda Yohn)
In any endeavor — business, education, the arts — the teacher-student relationship is critical for growth of new talent and skills. The mentor-mentee relationship takes the educational and growth commitment to a higher level. In the two recordings Rust Belt Roots by Randy Napoleon and Each Step by Nathan Borton, you hear the living mentor-mente ...
All About Jazz (Jack Bowers)
4-STARS Judging from recent album releases, the guitar remains an essential part of the contemporary jazz scene. The latest example among many is this tasteful session led by Kansas-born, Michigan-based Nathan Borton, adding his name to an ample roster of newly minted guitar-led or guitar-centered albums by Doug MacDonald, Graham Dechter, Kristian ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Classy sounding guitarist Nathan Borton mixes hints of Wes Montgomery and Grant Green on this winning session in quartet and beyond format with a core of Xavier Davis/p, Rodney Whitaker/b and Keith Hall/dr with guests Diego Rivera/ts and Chris Glassman/btb. There's an easy swing reminiscent of Montgomery's halcyon days on the Riverside label on ...
Take Effect (Tom Haugen)
Nathan Borton brings his impressive and timeless guitar playing to these stylish and lively tunes that tip their hat to legends like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green, and he's got Xavier Davis, Rodney Whitaker, Keith Hall, Diego Rivera and Chris Glassman along for the ride. The title track opens the listen with Davis' agile piano against Borton's ...
All About Jazz (Jane Kozhevnikova)
Each Step is the debut recording by guitarist Nathan Borton. As his website accurately states, Borton draws heavily from the mid-western tradition of bebop and blues. His influences include Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell. The album offers an enjoyable tour through the straight-ahead tradition. There are three standards early on: C ...
Cirdec Songs (Cedric Hendrix)
A nice step back in time, where guitarist Nathan Borton takes us back to that smoky nightclub for a 2 a.m. set of post-bop grooves that remind us of Joe Pass. Borton seamlessly sneaks in a couple of standards to go with his highly tasteful original tunes, deftly handled by his band. Diego Rivera (sax) and Chris Glassman (bass trombone) play rock so ...