Nir Felder - Golden Age

(11 posts)


  1. smoke

    Just a heads up Nir's recording was released today. Some really beautiful writing and ensemble playing. I'd describe it as 'majestic', not that I'm much for reviews.

    Anyone else digging it?

  2. patfarlow

    its on spotify and is really good.

    the only parts i don't enjoy are the dialogue.
    i find it distracting. other than that the music is pretty awesome.

  3. jazznan

    Just listened to it and I found it quite a frustrating listen because of the gimmicky "artsy" dialogue (who would ever want to listen to those tracks for a second time????).

    Let me say that he is obviously very talented and there are some beautiful moments, but maybe he should get a producer other than himself for his next one.

  4. That stuff makes me just want to hear cult of personality

  5. Poparad

    jazznan - My thoughts exactly. The mix is also really weird. Lots of guitar, some drums, very faint piano, and non-existent bass. Since most of the music has more of a rock vibe, a rock-mixing approach would've suited it much better. I saw this band at Small's last summer playing this music and it was fantastic.

    Floatingbridge - lol, yes!

  6. PaoloBach

    Poparad: what do you mean with ""rock-mixing approach"?

  7. Poparad

    When mixing a jazz group, the ideal is to just capture the "in the room" sound, where there's a lot of bleed between tracks (you can hear the drums in the piano track, etc). Other than adjusting volume levels and a little minimal EQ, it's a pretty straight-forward process. Most of the skill and craft comes from micing techniques, mic choices, and placement.

    With a rock band, all of the instruments are as isolated as possible (if not completely isolated or even recorded separately), and a lot more shaping is applied to the tracks (more compression, EQ, and other tools). The result is that all of the instruments have a much more up front and present placement in the mix, and due to the lack of bleed between tracks, you can isolate each instrument in the sound field far better, which allows for more clarity between parts in the mix. That's essential for louder bands where bleed between microphones causes the nuances of the softer instruments (bass, piano), to get drowned out and inaudible in the mix. When I saw this group at Smalls, it definitely had more of a feel of a rock show than a jazz quartet.

  8. The good songs on Golden Age are pretty incredible. While I don't like the monologue parts, I appreciate that Nir took an artistic risk, and didn't stick to the jazz formula. For his first record, it is an amazing accomplishment. Gerald Clayton has some spoken word poetry mixed in on his new record too. Maybe that is a thing the NYC guys are experimenting with?? I think Gilad's 'This Just In' has a great rock album feeling to the mix.

    EDIT-I listened to Nir do an interview about the album and there is a theme based on people's different perceptions of a 'golden age'. I think the dialogue reinforces that concept and so do the song titles. A concept album for instrumental music is a challenge! So again, I applaud Nir for exploring that. Miles was doing it back with his soundtrack to A Tribute to Jack Johnson.

  9. Poparad

    It is a cool idea, but it's novelty wears off really quickly on repeated listens. I think what does it in for me is a couple things:

    1) The first and last track are the same music, but with different speeches, so when you listen to the album on loop, it makes for a very dull back-to-back listening experience at that point.

    2) The proportion of speech to music is, I think, a bit lopsided. Take, for example, "Cult of Personality" that was mentioned earlier. If you're not familiar, it's a pretty hip early 90's rock tune that does the same thing, but it only does it for about 8 bars of the whole song, with a lot of musical variety going on elsewhere.

    3) Maybe this one's just me, but I have a hard time understanding what the clips are even saying, due to the "lo-fi" effect on them.

    Now that all said, I think the rest of the album is quite brilliant, even if the mix makes it hard to hear the piano and especially the bass. They're good tunes, and the playing is fantastic.

  10. jazznan

    Well said Popard, brilliant moments, but hard to listen to album

  11. PaoloBach

    thank you poparad


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