Nick Vayenas - vocals, trumpet, trombone
Patrick Cornelius - alto saxophone
Lionel Loueke - vocals, guitar
Dan Kauffman - piano
Vicente Archer - bass
Kendrick Scott - drums
Produced by Patrick Cornelius
Recorded at Sear Sound, NYC Jan 2012
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid, Feb. 2012
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch
released June 4, 2012
ABOUT THE ALBUM
“I continue to wait and watch what he will do next.”
- Terence Blanchard, Grammy-award winning trumpeter & film scorer
Nick Vayenas is the self-titled debut Whirlwind release from a multi-instrumentalist who builds on his critically acclaimed 2009 debut Synesthesia which featured Aaron Parks, Patrick Cornelius, Matt Brewer, Gretchen Parlato, and Kendrick Scott. That album was notable for blending live acoustic performance with post production electronics, for its compelling conceptual purity and for featuring Vayenas’ mastery of the trombone. Vayenas' latest release frames his talents more solidly within the jazz and American songbook traditions, showcasing different sides of his musical personality, giving equal attention to new workings of classic material mixed with original compositions.
Nick eschews a compositional narrative thread, presenting a more complete representation of his musicianship. “I wanted to make an unpretentious record,” Nick explains. “I like music that grooves hard, has strong melodic content, and exposes the listener to various moods and emotions.“
Vayenas’ evolution as an artist reflects a life in and of music. He seamlessly straddles both the commercial music industry and the more 'creative' jazz and improvised music world, having worked comfortably with international pop superstars like Michael Buble and Josh Groban, and respected New York jazz artists like Kendrick Scott, Dayna Stephens, Blue Note recording artist Lionel Loueke (a long time collaborator) and Patrick Cornelius alike. He is equally at home performing in intimate New York clubs such as The Jazz Gallery and Blue Note to large-scale arenas like the O2 in London making music for tens of thousands.
“A young composer finding a new sound all his own.”
“Synesthesia is well conceived and more than casually ambitious.”
- The New York Times
“A valiant opening salvo for a new musician on the scene whose star should rise quickly.”
- All Music Guide
“Vayenas and company's endeavors will surely give adventurous music fans something to look forward to."
- All About Jazz
“A resourceful young improviser.”
The New York Times
"This is one of the most impressive of recent Whirlwind issues, showcasing a multi-talented individual likely to appeal to a wide constituency of jazz fans.”
★★★★ Jazz Journal
"Having an original sound is crucial to being a jazz artist, [on 'Nick Vayenas'] Vayenas has got a great, identifiable sound that is all his own....and Lionel Loueke is perfect as he flourishes in a playing situation similar to his stints with Herbie Hancock."
The Entertainment Bank
"Mr Vayenas is a man of many talents – he plays tasty trumpet, fulsome trombone and he sings too...this is a very well played album...Stardust is effective – the highish vocal is suave and smooth against a more urgent Lionel Loueke and percussion rhythm. Add some nicely accented phrasing and a richly melodic trombone solo and the standard tune meets Vayenas’s contemporary attitudes in accord...the band is classy."
The Jazz Breakfast
"His brass work and arrangements are stellar, this fine band is right in step with him and he's beginning to discover the power of connecting with an audience through not only the strength of his playing but also with the words he sings."
"Vivid music mixed with great trumpet, trombone and vocal skills...'Nick Vayenas' is a pleasure to listen to, with great variation throughout its eight tracks."
Jazz & Blues Tour, ASFM 105.4, The Netherlands
"A more than capable trumpeter he displays an almost Clark Terry-like puckishness in his solos...on trombone he combines a lush tone with a vibrant attack.. [Vayenas'] cool laid back vocal sound is reminiscent of Chet Baker without sounding like Chet...the rhythm section is superb and those tracks that have Loueke on guitar and Cornelius on sax offer an extra dimension. I predict we will hear more of this young man on any one - or all four - of his talents."
Bebop Spoken Here
There's a definite reverence to fifties Chet Baker vocals and trumpet playing on 'Nick Vayenas.' Added is Nick's trombone versatility, as well, making this CD special."
The Voice 88.7 FM - Sacramento, CA