Waterlilies featuring Bill Connors and Nana Vasconcelos
“…superlative flute playing and composing by Nicholas Pike. Bravo!!”—Paul G. Kohler
Nicholas Pike, flute; Bill Connors, acoustic guitar; and, Nana Vasconcelos, percussion.
Noname, Cloudburst, Waterlilies & Woven Roving
Nicholas Pike is a Hollywood film composer/arranger with many movie soundtracks to his credit and a virtuoso jazz flautist. I became aware of him via his excellent original score of the ‘90’s film Captain Ron (with Kurt Russel, Martin Short and Mary Kay Place). He also wrote modern big band jazz for the Bonnie Hunt Show and now shows the world his profound jazz flute foundation.
Nick was originally from the UK, lived in South Africa, attended Berklee in Boston and was in New York City post-graduation in the late ‘80’s, establishing contacts and forming his career. These four compositions were recorded at Celestial Sounds and was aimed for Manfred Eicher’s ECM label. Instead, this fine recording lingered and was finally released a couple of years ago via Amazon.
This is an adventurous, courageous and satisfying recording. Any trio without a bass provides an open harmonic invitation that allows the soloists to take the music anywhere. The “groove” provided by only guitar and percussion is there, but sub-liminal and Nick sores throughout with great chops and melodic ideas. His playing is a modern logical extension of what Frank Wess began, nodding to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Jeremy Steig, but without the vocal effects. Bill Connors provides fine solos, it’s no wonder that Chick Corea hired him. And Nana Vasconcelos was then and continued to be a world-class percussionist.
If you love jazz flute you must add this to your collection, without hesitation!
Marshall Vente, July 13, 2021