by Bruce Von Stiers
Brust’s Frozen In Time
Bruce Von Stiers
Nicholas Brust is a saxophonist whose influences include Kenny Garrett and Michael Brecker. About five years ago, Brust recorded an EP that showcased original compositions reflecting a melodic and harmonic style.
This year finds Brust having recorded a full length album. As with the earlier EP, this new album is filled with original compositions. The title of the album is Frozen In Time. It is being released on the Fresh Sound Records label.
Frozen In Time has nine songs and a play time of fifty-three minutes. The album was produced by Will Vinson, who has played internationally and worked with Sean Lennon and Martha Wainwright.
Brust holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and Music Education as well as a Master’s in Jazz Performance. During his college years, Brust studied with people such as Harold Danko and Donny McCaslin.
On this new album, Brust takes on the role of band leader along with playing his saxophone. On the album with him are Ben Eunson, Tuomo Uusitalo, Josh Allen and Jay Sawyer. Eunson plays guitar on the album. His previous credits include playing on albums by David Weiss and Elise LeGrow. On piano is Uusitalo, who has worked with a lot of New York area jazz musicians along with having a twice-a-month residency at Smalls Jazz Café. Allen is the bassist on the album. His credits include working with Randy Brecker and recording and touring with Negroni’s Trio. A much in demand drummer, Sawyer has shared the stage with greats such as Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Work Ahead is the first song on the album. It has a fast pace, with some nice bass and drums to back it up. There are good piano and guitar solos as well.
The song’s title, Hearts and Spades, might bring forth thoughts of card games. But this is a slow and easy ballad that builds in a cool guitar bit near the end of it.
Another slow and easy song is Brooklyn Folk Songs. A note on the song from the album’s press release states that it was based on a feeling of inner peace that Brust felt whenever he was in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Listening to the song, you get a sense of that inner peace that Brust referred to.
Although the title track, Frozen In Time, is primarily a saxophone piece, it has a fantastic mixture of all the instruments on the album
Hymnal For Those In Need is an endearing song, with slow and stirring saxophone and strong drum, along with subtle piano, bass and guitar.
Adversity is a toe tapping nod from Brust to the New York music scene.
Something Like A Storm starts out slow and begins to build into a faster pace. Then the end just sort of fades. Kind of like the storm that you might envision from the music.
Soliloquy in F Minor is a soft and easy ballad.
The final song on the album is A Shifting State. It begins with a strong bass then brings in a nice saxophone lead.
I really enjoyed Frozen In Time. Even though the compositions focused somewhat on Nicholas Brust’s saxophone playing, they allowed for some complementary backing music and solos for the other musicians.
Frozen In Time can be ordered through the Fresh Sound Records web site or through retailers such as amazon.
On Nicholas Brust’s official site you can hear songs from Frozen In Time, along with a few live and studio music videos. That site can be found at https://www.nicholasbrustmusic.com/