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"A few recent spins of the album reconfirmed my enthusiasm for the music. Nash, whose solo career, while always mindful of traditions, reaches well outside a 'traditional' nexus, features the orchestra in its most flattering light. The playing is strong, the writing robust."
Stereophile, Fred Kaplan
"Many composers, jazz and otherwise, have tried to write pieces inspired by famous artworks, but Ted Nash is one of the few who pulls it off. It's good to see Nash fronting the LCJO, Wynton Marsalis' thriving big band. He's one of its most versatile players and composers...Nash's 2002 album Sidewalk Meeting, one of the decade's best, displayed an Ellingtonian knack for lush colors and narrative drive. Portrait in Seven Shades shows those talents haven't dimmed."
All About Jazz, David Adler
"The JLCO accommodates boundary-pushing musicians like Ted Nash, who holds a multi-woodwinds chair. Portrait in Seven Shades is Nash's entry as an JLCO resident composer and the focus here is avowedly European (a stark contrast with Congo Square's Africa via New Orleans). Each of the seven movements takes inspiration not only from a particular painter, but also from a set of specific canvases in that artist's oeuvre."
Downbeat Magazine, Ted Panken
"Saxophonist Ted Nash's disc marks a new direction for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra...In imparting to each movement its own flavor, Nash wields a vivid palette of orchestral and rhythmic color."
"Jazz composer Ted Nash has just released an audio tour de force, the CD Portrait in Seven Shades, a suite of jazz interpretations of the works of iconic artists. His Monet, Picasso and Pollock movements are particularly evocative. And his piece entitled Dali - if you listen closely - reminds us that long before the Internet age, the Dadaists insisted, rightly so, that we could actually see with our ears."
Washington City Paper
"Nash's concert-length suite Portrait in Seven Shades is dense, ambitious, symphonic; even Beethovenian. It's also got very dark edges that separate it a great deal from Marsalis' occasionally moody but often gleeful all-jazz-fusion. This is a serious and extraordinary new trajectory for JALC."
"Nash, a reedman and flutist, lead the band through seven intricate, often elegant, movements reflecting the wonders of Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, Marc Chagall and Jackson Pollack...From movement to movement, an interesting contingency emerged in my listening: the band was playing avant-garde music...Dali, signed in 13/8 time, featured Victor Goines setting the melody, Vincent Gardner bellowing on trombone, Marcus Printup and Nash in duet, melting time with blazing, whining, wheezing notes, and Jackson alarm-tocking an assortment of cowbells. Against Carlos Henriquez's bass plucking, Dan Nimmer's cycle of keyboard runs and Jackson's bass-drum bombs, the band ended the song stomping feet, clapping hands in differing rhythmic pattern, and spinning the audience's heads."
Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich
"As always, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra attracted an overflow crowd, which heard one of the band's most rewarding programs: an evening of ambitious, unfamiliar and mostly intriguing compositions. JALC reedist Ted Nash led the Chicago premiere of his Portrait in Seven Shades, each movement a response to the work of a key 20th century painter. Nash's vignettes, however, were not merely musical depictions of an individual artist's technique or style. Rather, these seven portraits unfolded as significant, often surprising, orchestral essays. Few large ensembles could have done justice to orchestral writing of such stylistic range as effectively as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Marsalis' soaring trumpet lines in the flamenco-tinged Picasso, Dan Nimmer's brilliant opening piano cadenza in Chagall, and Nash and Victor Goines' laughing-crying clarinet duet in the same movement attested to the caliber of the band - and the achievement of Nash's score."
Jazz Times, Jeff Tamarkin
"(Nash) and his crew succeed admirably in their mission of evoking the moods suggested by these very different artists. Although Nash's detailed distillations of the compositions are immensely helpful in understanding his thought processes, they are not essential: Portrait in Seven Shades would be just as colorful and dazzling if the listener had no idea what Nash and company were looking at as they created this music."
Democrat and Chronicle
"Portrait in Seven Shades is wonderfully imaginative music, using the wide range of orchestra resources, including Marsalis' famous trumpet, to create audio images of seven specific visual worlds. It reminds me of the sort of first-class suites created by the late Duke Ellington for his legendary band. And that's saying a lot."
"Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is the name that's most readily associated with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. But it was reedman Ted Nash who really took center stage at the ensemble's Hill Auditorium show Wednesday night. I loved all the different moods and feelings Portrait in Seven Shades evoked.
"He's written scads of music, and made plenty of recordings, but for Ted Nash, Portrait in Seven Shades is the masterpiece."