Nash had a great team of collaborators to share the bandstand: Ron Horton is a very unique and tragically under-rated trumpeter, whom I have had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions. Horton plays the instrument effortlessly from low range to high, and has a gorgeous, rich, centered tone. His ideas can seem traditional, but then he can surprise you in the next phrase. Drummer Ulysses Owens, whom I have also had the fortune to work with in the past, is highly in demand as a sideman. Owens currently plays with several groups led by bassist Christian McBride. He's the epitome of tasteful drumming. He played on the quiet side, which balanced with the chord-less quartet very well. (By chord-less, I mean no piano or guitar.....or vibes, I guess if you want to get technical...)
Bassist Paul Sikivie was a real surprise to me, because he was actually one of my students at Julliard; he was in my piano class. He didn't impress me as a pianist(most of my students didn't, at least not in Piano for Non-Pianists, since it isn't their main instrument...), but he really wowed me as a bassist; he plays really in tune, and has a great swinging drive, and takes musical solos. Obviously, he has a lot of responsibility in this group with the absence of a "chordal" instrument. I was happy to see that he is having some career success.
Nash, Horton, Sikivie, and Owens basically gave a clinic on their respective instruments. I was somewhat disappointed that there were not more people in the audience. I suppose it's hard anywhere to get people to come out on a Monday night. The show was more pricey than most of the shows at Ivories, but shows like these are worth it, especially to students, in that you are getting to hear the masters live. And if you really pay attention, it's almost as good as, or even better, than getting a lesson, and for a fraction of what a lesson costs! Plus, you are helping to keep the music and the venues alive. I hope that at some point, Nash and his men will be able to return to Portland and we'll be able to get more folks to come out and see what they missed the first time......