What do NEXUS, Phil Nimmons (clarinet), David Braid (piano), Suba Sankaran (voice), Parmela Attariwala (strings) and Mark Laver (saxophone) all have in common?
Maybe it is their eagerness to go to that place no one knows – the place where music is born – and to do so accompanied for the first time by unknown fellow travelers – and to do so in front of a large assembled audience in Walter Hall at the University of Toronto.
Maybe it is their willingness to bare their souls to others – fellow musicians and listeners alike – for there is no other way to make music.
Maybe it is their shared confidence that they can and will find the road to that place – without the aid of defining maps or sign markers.
Maybe it is all of the above.
For me, having made such journeys many times with NEXUS, this was an especially memorable performance. It was as though – for the entire concert, from the very first sound, through the entire magical duet played by Phil Nimmons and David Braid, to the concluding tamtam/piano consonance – the music was in-the-zone, intensely focused within an effortless state of flow.
It was, as always, great to see and hear Phil Nimmons (at 85-years young, a Canadian national treasure). NEXUS has performed with Phil many times, and he is always inspiring and supportive. His colleague, David Braid displays ears of immense capabilities – able to sense and reinforce every unfolding musical scenario. The vocalizations of Suba Sankaran added a humanizing sense of mystery to the music, as did the linear and rhythmic phrasings of Parmela Attariwala and Mark Laver.
And . . . I have no adequate words to describe the musical sensibilities of Bob, Robin, Russell and Garry. In other words, I just can not tell you how much I enjoyed their music making. :-)