Nathan Page – Page-ing Nathan

Page-ing Nathan
Nathan Page
(Hugos Music – 1982/2000)
by John Barrett

The word is “fluidity”. Nathen Page makes a steady wave of sound – precise notes, longecho, and just a little twang. He surrounded himself with stars on this 1982 session, and leads them through a series of moods. He in tertwines with Buster Williams on “Moment’s Notice”, sounding like a single instrument. His tone is somewhere between Wes Montgomeryand Barney Kessel; that’s a good place to be. Kenny Barron starts slowly, but wait: his solo charges fast, spurred by Billy Hart’s cymbals. “Sunday Morning Samba” is busy, as Nathen twangs boldly. (And a trifle too loudly, if you ask me.)

Barron’s comp is wonderfully intricate; listen as closely as youcan. After this heat comes an oasis:”Reba” is a late-night ballad, fueled by sinuous guitar. Page is exquisite: slow bouncing notes, alittle warm echo, and Buster doing likewise. Nothing is flashy but everything works; call it an elegant whisper. Maybe it’s a kiss on your ear … it feels just as good.

“Gypsy” is a mysterious creature: a delicate theme turns funky, then reverts to romance. Nate tries a montuno on his solo: crisp and percussive, in contrast to his earlier efforts. Barron goes funky, and you’ll like Buster’s bass guitar. Nathen is lovely for “Here’s That Rainy Day”: his notes skip along, like stones in a pool. Meditating alone for three minutes, the band then enters: Barron starts a thought and Page completes it. Hart has his moment on “InnerUrge”: a full minute of exploratory rhythm. Page sounds hornlike on this one, including a buzz in his tone. Kenny takes off, the cymbals are endless, and we feel the urge strongly. The calm numbers are best, especially for Nathen Page. When he speaks romance, you will listen.