...the most accomplished of the younger L.A. jazz pianist-arrangers...The small ensemble music in this collection is often lyrical, harmonically rich and elegant.
Josh Nelson's series of interactive multi-media projects over the last several years have focused on space (2015's "Exploring Mars") and science fiction ephemera (2011's "Discoveries"). The latest manifestation of "The Discovery Project" comes back to earth with "The Sky Remains," Josh's love letter to Los Angeles, where he was born and raised. Avoiding the many cliches surrounding its culture, Josh presents stories that reveal a fascinating history, from forgotten architecture and landmarks that shaped daily living, to the abundant wealth of creative and inspired individuals who have flocked to and defined life in LA over the last century. With vocalists Kathleen Grace & Lillian Sengpiehl and a stellar ensemble featuring guitarist Anthony Wilson, Josh's thoughtful musical framing of its ongoing story adds another chapter to Los Angeles' cultural anthology. "Too often we tear down and forget to make way for a re-imagined tomorrow, but the sky remains the same."
1 BRIDGES AND TUNNELS 6:08
2 THE SKY REMAINS 5:52
3 ON THE SIDEWALK 2:46
4 THE ARCHITECT 7:04
5 AH, LOS ANGELES 7:42
6 LOST SOULS OF SATURN 6:45
7 PITSELEH 3:56
8 PACIFIC OCEAN PARK 4:03
9 RUN 5:08
10 STAIRWAYS 7:00
JOSH NELSON piano, Nord Electro 3, vocal
ANTHONY WILSON guitar, vocal
KATHLEEN GRACE vocal (1,2,7,9)
LILLIAN SENGPIEHL vocal (1,5,6)
ALEX BONEHAM bass
DAN SCHNELLE drums
JOSH JOHNSON alto sax, flute
CHRIS LAWRENCE trumpet, flugelhorn
BRIAN WALSH Bb clarinet, bass clarinet
LARRY GOLDINGS Hammond B3 organ
AARON SERFATY percussion
Produced by Josh Nelson & Anthony Wilson
Recorded & mixed by Talley Sherwood
at TriTone Studios, Los Angeles
Recorded January through July, 2017
Mastered by Peter Doell
at AfterMaster Audio Labs, Los Angeles
Photographs by Travis Flournoy, Anthony
Wilson, Jesse Ottinger, Josh Nelson
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Dan Bilawsky)
4 1/2 STARS Josh Nelson has seen quite a bit in recent times, diving deep into the human psyche with singer Sara Gazarek, moving through inner spaces with vibraphonist Tyler Blanton, exploring retrofuturistic realms inspired by the writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, and touching down on Mars for a thorough musical exploration of the Red Plane ...
Jazz History Online (Thomas Cunniffe)
If "La La Land" was a salute to the superficial opulence of Los Angeles, Josh Nelson's album "The Sky Remains" is the perfect antidote, focusing on the sometimes troubling history of the City of Angels. Each of the 10 movements is tied to a piece of the city's legacy, ranging from nearly forgotten figures like writer Charlotta Bass and the notoriou ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Oh, sure, everyone sings about LA but how many times have you heard people play about LA? Especially with a stellar crew standing behind them at all levels? An impressionistic musical look at facets of LA, it's a much gentler outing than you might guess would be lurking here. Put together by a local native that really loves his environment, this ...
Bad Alchemy (Germany) (Rigobert Dittmann)
Mit diesem für diverse Grammies nominierten Album lerne ich einen Pianisten in LA kennen, der Sängerinnen wie Natalie Cole und Sara Gazarek ins rechte Licht rückt. Es ist schon sein sechstes als Leader, nach zuletzt "Discoveries" (2011) und "Exploring Mars" (2015). Nach diesen beiden SF-Konzept-Alben wendet er sich, quasi als Engel über LA, sei ...
Amazon (Grady Harp)
Los Angeles pianist and composer Josh Nelson presents a love letter to Los Angeles – stating ‘"You can glean the future growth of the city by looking back at its history. So many things about L.A. have left an indelible impression on me, and there seems to be so many themes yet to be explored that I think I could almost do another volume. These ...
Jazz Mostly (Bruce Crowther)
On this musical portrait of Los Angeles, pianist Josh Nelson takes inspiration from places and people and events that have added to the city's rich history. Instrumentalists joining Josh on this album are trumpeter Chris Lawrence, alto saxophonist Josh Johnson, clarinetist Brian Walsh, organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Alex ...
The Art Music Lounge (Lynn Rene Bayley)
Pianist and composer Josh Nelson's new album, The Sky Remains, due for release September 15, is a mosaic of his impressions of his home town, Los Angeles. Live performances of the music from this album feature multimedia film footage to enhance the audience's experience. More often than not, programmatic music designed to depict a specific locat ...
Los Angeles Times (Sean J. O'Connell)
Pianist Josh Nelson's Fairfax District home is squeezed from all sides by the lore of old Los Angeles, and he is a student of the city's many tales. For Nelson's newest release, "The Sky Remains," out now on Origin Records, he invokes a handful of Southern California ghosts for an homage to the complicated past and promising future of his hometo ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
If you hang around the LA jazz scene, sooner or later you're going to hear pianist Josh Nelson perform. He is teamed with bassist Pat Senatore a number of times, but usually he's supporting a local female singer, as he's got a great ear and sensitive touch on the ivories. His own albums have been creative feasts, ranging from lyrical bop to takes o ...
Music Man Blog (Rob Nicosia)
Josh Nelson, Jazz Pianist /Composer/ Teacher is teeming with superb musical talents. I seem to run into him everywhere, at concerts performing with his own band, on many amazing new CDs that he participated on and at concerts where he is performing as part of another band. Born and raised in Southern California, Josh has just released his newest ...
Music Pen Club (Japan) (Keizo Takada)
Josh Nelson, a Jazz pianist plays an active role in Los Angeles, was born in 1978. When he was 19 years old, he released his first album "First Stories" and has released many albums that mainly feature his originals. He toured various countries as a pianist for Natalie Cole for 6 years. He has been a music director for Sara Gazarek over 10 yea ...
El Intrus (Argentina) (Sergio Picirilli)
La ciudad de Los Angeles se fundó el 4 de septiembre de 1781 y, originalmente, fue bautizada con el singular nombre de El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula, en honor a la capilla Santa María degli Angeli de Porciúncula (Italia) de donde provenían los primeros misioneros franciscanos en California. Tras la guerra ...
LA Jazz Scene (Scott Yanow)
Josh Nelson's The Sky Remains is an unusual tribute to Los Angeles. It pays homage to L.A.'s rich architectural history, much of which has disappeared due to the demolition of historic buildings through the years. The title "The Sky Remains" refers to the fact that at least the sky has not been destroyed. The pianist composed and arranged ten or ...
Festival Peak (Carol Banks Weber)
Pianist/composer Josh Nelson sees the world differently. A restless, bold dreamer, he uncovers the extraordinary in people, places, and things we often take for granted - with an uncanny sense of beauty, humanity, and musical imagination. He did it in the 2011 sci-fi/steam punk album Discoveries, which kicked off his well-received, multi-medi ...
Music Log (Michael Doherty)
I've been residing in Los Angeles for approximately two decades, and there are things I've come to really love about this city. Certain places, certain buildings, even certain roads. There really is a special feel to this city, which when looked at in a certain light can be almost magical. Fellow Los Angeles resident Josh Nelson explores different ...
Bird is the Worm (Dave Sumner)
Josh Nelson's Exploring Mars was one of the very best things to come out in 2015. The pianist's ode to the science and stories of the Red Planet was an imaginative network of wild magic and scientific precision. The music was light on its feet and given the space to wander freely, but each note was a concise step in a clear direction. That lyric ...
Downbeat (Kirk Silsbee)
4-STARS Pianist Josh Nelson thinks big. His own projects, showcased so far in clubs only, are multimedia affairs with scenery and video projections to live music. The music for these phantasmagoria is equally expansive, often revolving around Los Angeles history, science fiction and things celestial. The son of a Disney imagineer, he sees the town ...
Improvijazzation (Dick Metcalf)
Josh's piano and compositional work got high marks from me in issue # 155, and this new 2017 release has even more sensitive songs… per the liner notes, it's somewhat of a "love song" for his native city, Los Angeles… you'll certainly hear hear his creative genius and jazz sensitivity on great tunes like the 7:04 "The Architect"… his playing ...
Downbeat (Kirk Silsbee)
**** Pianist Josh Nelson thinks big. His own projects, showcased so far in clubs only, are multi-media affairs with scenery and video projections to live music The music for these phantasmagoria is equally expansive, often revolving around Los Angeles history, science fiction and things celestial. The son of a Disney imagineer, he sees the town as ...
London Jazz News (Nick Davies)
The Sky Remains is pianist Josh Nelson's tribute to his hometown Los Angeles. Each of the album's 10 tracks is a story around a theme with references to the city. From songs like Run, which is the story of runner Mack Robinson who came second in the 200 metre dash at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to Pacific Ocean Park about the nautical theme park loca ...