Trombonist Nick Finzer’s second album as a leader is a straight-ahead jazz album with some punch to it. It’s a pleasure to hear these original compositions exhibit the traits of the genre so well with such vibrancy. Alongside Glenn Zaleski on piano, Lucas Pino on reeds, Alex Wintz on guitar, Dave Baron on bass and Jimmy MacBride on drums, The Chase, is a collection of songs that work and put in work.
The teamwork of Baron and MacBride on the back end of the rhythm section are a big part of why this album works. The throttle that these two provide is the anchor that maintains the vibe in these songs. Wintz on guitar provides just the right amount of notes to keep the music pliable and fun, an extra tone as an accent. Zaleski is as amiable as usual on the piano to great effect. Pino’s reeds are never intrusive or offputting, and are just as much as crucial to the vibe here as everything. Yet it’s Finzer who with his compositions puts the best face forward with his trombone.
There’s enough balance here for these songs to breathe as they should and for the composition’s melodies to shine as much as the musicians performing them can execute said shininess. Finzer’s The Chase is everything that works in a modern straight-ahead jazz album.
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.