HOW SUITE IT IS…Ted Nash Big  Band: Presidential Suite, Louis Rosen: Dream Suite

Just like suits, suites come in different sizes and shapes. Here are a couple that are intriguing tributes in divergent ways.

Ted Nash plays alto and soprano sax while arranging the music and conducting the big band while includes Lincoln Center artists such as Joe Temperley/bs, Wynton Marsalis/tp, Victor Goines/reeds and Sherman Irby/reeds on this tribute to inspiring world leaders. There are two discs, one that is all music, and one that has spoken readings of speeches from the likes of Kennedy, Churchill, Mandella, Reagan and others. The other disc is the music sans spoken word, and both work well. Marsalis delivers a rich solo on the bopping “American Promise” and Temperley is rich on the calm “Deliverance.” The moods range from  panoramic to even reggae, with lots of hip atmospheres keeping the toes tapping. Inspiring in word and sound.
Louis Rosen  puts together a tribute to the poetry of Langston Hughes. It’s a Spartan production, with the voices of either Alton Fitzgerald White or Capathia Jenkins supported by pianist Joseph Thalken teaming up. The voices are at times semi-operatic and others like a testifying church service, with some bluesy piano on “Exits” and a Broadway Gospel delivery of “Hurt.” Thalken strides with a  bounce on “Life Is Fine” and gentle as a lamb during “Dimout in Harlem.” Sincere and from the heart.

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