Nasar Abadey & Supernova
Diamond in the Rough
Drummer Nasar Abadey leads his band Supernova into an exhilarating repertoire of smooth R&B/soul woven and chamber-clad sonic escapes on his 2011 album Diamond in the Rough brought to audiences by the indie label Takbir Music. Abadey’s stable includes his long time collaborators saxophonists Joe Ford and Gary Thomas and bassist James King. Along with pianist Allyn Johnson and special guests Jamal Brown on flute, Thad Wilson on trumpet, Rashida Jolley on harp, Tom Teasley on percussion, and Abadey’s son Kush on djembe, Nasar Abadey’s unit illustrates harmonic possibilities that emerge when liked minds come together and play as if they are an extension of one another.
In order to understand how Supernova manages such a feat, audiences must delve into Abadey’s concept for the band. By definition, a supernova is a star that expands until it explodes and then showers its splintered particles across the cosmos to form new stars which integrate into other celestial bodies. This is Abadey’s vision for Supernova’s music exerting all of the musicians energy until every ounce is expelled and then letting the particles integrate into the lives of their listeners.
The furling silhouettes of the saxophone formed along “Eternal Surrender” evolve into a series of robust twitters that gel into the lightly sprinkled keys. Jolley’s exquisitely strummed brushstrokes on the harp through “Sacred Space” pronounce the tune’s tranquil luster while the keys and the saxophone chase after each other along “Multi-D” as one peeks in while the other hides and vice versa. The adrenaline exerted in the track is felt in every fiber of their brisk scampering.
The heavy tones of “The Covenant” makes room for the mercurial wails of the saxophones, and the melancholic pitch in the saxophones along “Notnu” blossoms with expressive phrases as an undertow of florally motifs shaped by the piano’s keys lift the piece up. The musicians compensate for one another in this track while at other times, they spur each other onward like in the title track.
Inspired by such luminaries as Tony Williams, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, and Elvin Jones, Abadey’s pallet is steep in modal jazz, bebop metrics, and free style formations. Abadey provides a firm base while the musicians improvise. Sometimes his drumming seems understated in comparison to the movements of the saxophones, but the coiling of his pulsating sticks are always felt and aid in keeping the tracks on keel.
Nasar Abadey – drums, Joe Ford – alto and soprano saxophones, Gary Thomas – tenor saxophone, Allyn Johnson – piano, James King – bass, Jamal Brown – flute, Thad Wilson – trumpet, Rashida Jolley – harp, Kush Abadey – djembe, and Tom Teasley – percussion
Diamond in the Rough, Sacred Space, Eternal Surrender, Multi-D, The Covenant, Notnu, There’s No Greater Love