Friday, November 13, 2009


I have to be honest, Brad. After I heard your band last night, and listened to your new album "First Call" this afternoon, I'm convinced The Brad Felt Nu Quartet Plus is the best regional jazz band working. More fans of the group should’ve come to the album release gig Thursday night at Cliff Bell's. Nu Quartet Plus which has four banner swingers saxophonist Steve Woods, drummer Bill Higgins, pianist Gary Schunk, and bassist Nick Calandro put on a great show. On this album, you somehow maintained the same high swinging level as in the band's live show. Nu Quartet Plus cannot be pigeonholed.

"First Call" will appeal most to jazz fans that crave variety. As a composer, you took risks. "If You Came to Me for Love" was a free jazz ballad, surprisingly. Not many composers could've pulled that off. As a bandleader, you gave your employees freedom, but you did not allow them to run amok. You have two proven veterans Woods and Schunk. On "The Truth About You" and "Empathic", Woods sounded much like his idol the great tenor saxophonist Yusef Lateef. (I hope Woods take that as a compliment.) And Schunk has a creative left hand. That's enough about them. Brad, you made the ugly looking euphonium sound so handsome. This is a hot album, and your Nu Quartet Plus--I'm willing to wager--if the bands stays together will build a bigger following. More people should’ve come to the release party. They missed out,
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