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Vaughan Hawthorne-Nelson

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Reviews of Vaughan Hawthorne-Nelson

 

07/08/2006 Chris Parker

The following night, a rara avis: saxophonist Vaughan Hawthorne-Nelson, fronting a band comprising pianist Robert Mitchell, bassist Malcolm Creese, drummer Richard Spaven and a highly promising newcomer, neat, thoughtful guitarist Richard Rozze. Starting with a ravishingly lovely visit to 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', and continuing mainly in standards mode, Hawthorne-Nelson demonstrated that even the most familiar material, in the right hands, can be a springboard for passion-filled, personalised music-making of the first water.
He is known as a disciple of the Coltrane-inspired spiritual-quest school of saxophone playing (his alto sound pure, earnest, intensely communicative), and, like his great mentor, he is capable of affecting the heart and mind in equal proportions. Gigs such as this are, to lapse into cliché for a moment, what the Vortex is all about.

 

30/06/2006 Chris Parker

The following night (Tuesday, 25), a rare treat: saxophonist Vaughan Hawthorn-Nelson has been around since the mid-1980s, but appears relatively rarely; a shame, this, because he has a highly affecting, utterly committed alto sound, which at its best contrives to combine the questing spirituality of Coltrane and his disciples with the sheer agility and power of someone like Jackie McLean. Three albums could be investigated by those curious about him: Emergence (1996), The Gift (1997) and See You There (1999), all on TML Records; they showcase (as does a later album devoted to standards such as Stella by Starlight' and Over the Rainbow') a keening alto sound imbued with contemplative energy; live, he's compelling and intensely communicative, so should not be missed.

 

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