[14 January 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Jazz guitarist Nir Felder’s debut album, Golden Age, drops this month. Many a musician has his or her idea of what a “golden age” was or is, but Felder is reluctant to stake such a claim. In his words, the album’s title is “more of a question than a statement,” rhetorically asking if we are in a golden age for the arts right now or if we were ever in the throes of one at all.
Felder’s performing and composing chops are not unlike many a fusion jazz guitarist who came before him. Any fan of Pat Metheny or Mike Stern can wring much listening enjoyment from Golden Age. It seems to have just the right amount of virtuosity pitted against genuinely engaging writing, all buoyed by a tight group featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Nate Smith. “Ernest /Protector”, one of Golden Age‘s flashier tracks, premieres here on PopMatters. While the hard-bop qualities reveal one side to Felder, just know that there is much more to delve into later this month.