CD Review: Nir Felder "Golden Age"

Well-assisted by Gotham upright ace Matt Penman, pianist Aaron Parks, and drummer Nate Smith, rising N.Y.C. guitar supernova Nir Felder delivers a dazzling debut, establishing a musical voice as distinctive as the dirty tone of his $250 Strat.
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Well-assisted by Gotham upright ace Matt Penman, pianist Aaron Parks, and drummer Nate Smith, rising N.Y.C. guitar supernova Nir Felder delivers a dazzling debut, establishing a musical voice as distinctive as the dirty tone of his $250 Strat. “Lights” pits Penman’s broken-eighths rock groove against a backdrop of historic civil rights speeches that crest at a John Mayer-size hook. “Sketches 2” juxtaposes more socially relevant speeches, Felder’s Shorter-esque open chord cycle, Penman’s independent bass line, and Smith’s wire-to-wire kinetic drums. Elsewhere, “Bandits,” with its pop backbeat and sensibility, and the bossa “Lover” (capped by Penman’s spirited solo), recall the passion of ’70s Pat Metheny. Felder takes us on a journey with each track, all while contending that the Golden Age is up for interpretation.

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