Josh Nelson – Exploring Mars

Instrumental music can inspire the imagination. Whether the soundtrack of a favorite movie or jazz, music without words can take you places that can be any combination of a wonder, amusement, adventure, romance or relaxation. For pianist Josh Nelson, the wonder is the Red Planet. Exploring Mars (Origin Records, 2015) is inspired by the fiction of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. It’s also a follow-up to Nelson’s Discoveries (2011).

In addition to piano, Nelson plays trumpet and Nord Electro 3. Also on this date are John Daversa, trumpet and EVI; Larry Koonse, guitar; Dave Robaire, bass; Dan Schnelle, drums; Kathleen Grace, vocals; Alan Ferber, trombone; and Brian Walsh, bass clarinet.

“Bradbury’s Spirit” includes a spoken-word excerpt of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. The music plays softly underneath Nelson’s reading from a section of the book that depicts a Martian jam session. Koonse, Robaire and Schnelle enjoy a light jam as Nelson speaks. The piano is subtle.

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