Devin Bridgewater and his New Nuance trio had the audience enthralled during their concert July 14 at the Nash in downtown Phoenix, captivating the crowd from the first lyrical notes of Devin’s electric violin on the bossa nova opener.
Bridgewater led his trio through a varied set list that included Django Reinhardt and the French Jazz movement, trumpeter Kenny Dorham (one of Bridgewater’s favorite horn players), and obscure love songs from Devon’s admitted habit of watching late night classic movies (“I Never Knew,” from Romance on the High Seas with Doris Day; Bridgewater soloed on violin and muted trumpet during the song).
Guitarist Eric Bart and bassist Selwyn Reams, laid down a rich, playful rhythm section for Bridgewater to string his solos on, from his soaring, bittersweet violin pyrotechnics to his supple trumpet work. Bart and Reams also had their moments as soloists, showing their versatility and jazz chops. A trio that swings hard without the benefit of drums revealed a subtle interplay during the concert that otherwise could have been lost with additional instrumentation.
Bridgewater and Nuance have been around since 1989, specializing in Django Reinhardt and the French Jazz movement, but Bridgewater recently expanded the group’s repertoire. Adding other styles that he loves seemed to give the trio room to breathe, and provided context to their diverse set list.
More information on Devon Bridgewater and New Nuance is available at devonbridgewater.com.
- Chazz Rayburn