Nick Stanley is a jazz musician from Tucson, Arizona. At age 20 he recorded an album of standards, blues and solo piano works featuring some of Tucson's best musicians/educators. Nick Stanley; piano, Scott Black: bass, Mike Kuhn: Tenor Saxophone, Fred Hayes and Pete Swan; drums. All of the tunes and arrangements on this album were inspired by earlier recordings by artists such as: Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Gene Harris, Cannonball Adderley, Ray Brown, Cedar Walton, Wes Montgomery, Stanley Turrentine and Horace Silver, while the solo piano tracks evoke sounds reminiscent of Monk, Harry Connick, Jr. and New Orleans-pianist James Booker.
Tucson Citizen Newspaper
CD Review: Local 'Introducing Nick Stanley' light-fingered showcase
"Introducing Nick Stanley" (Nick Stanley)
Making his own entrance onto the local CD scene, Tucson pianist Nick Stanley presents a light-fingered showcase of straight-ahead jazz with a hefty blues chaser. Each of the 13 tracks is inspired by an earlier, often iconographic, recording that influenced Stanley's even-handed approach to improvisation.
The album's liner notes make these connections clear, so listeners can also appreciate this young musician's respect for the pre-fusion era of jazz when romance and lyricism were at least as important as sizzling technique. Among those cited for their influence are Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Cannonball Adderly, Horace Silver and Gene Harris.
Stanley plays with an easy confidence in the magic of swing, a belief that sweet rhythm can always put a smile on the listener's face. The joy is in knowing this pianist can find so much worth grooving on, no matter if it's a late-night blues or a sentimental rumination.
While three of the cuts are solo piano, the others bring local jazz heroes Mike Kuhn, tenor sax, and Scott Black, bass, accompanied at different times by drummers Pete Swan and Fred Hayes. The result is a tuneful set that includes the standards "Almost Like Being in Love," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Autumn Leaves," "Since I Fell for You," "I've Got the World on a String" and "Ain't Misbehavin.' " You can find a copy locally at the Borders bookstore in Park Place, online at www.cdbaby.com or iTunes.
Steve Emerine, past President, Tucson Jazz Society; jazz writer and jazz CD collector; member, Jazz Journalists Association and International Association of Jazz Record Collectors.
A jazz pianist with a real future, August 15, 2008
Remember the name Nick Stanley. You're going to hear a lot about him in the months and years ahead. "Introducing Nick Stanley," his first CD, is outstanding. Stanley moves easily from Julian Adderley to Cole Porter, from Lerner and Loewe to Horace Silver and from Andy Razaf and Fats Waller to Harold Arlen. Stanley's piano technique handles music from those composers very well and still makes room for tenor saxophonist Mike Kuhn on five of the CD's 13 tunes. Scott Black, who co-arranged the music with Stanley, handles the bass, and Fred Hayes and Pete Swan split the drums. Whatever the line-up is for a particular song, the result is solid -- and interesting -- jazz from a talented young pianist who knows the history of the music he's playing and treats it with respect. At the same time, however, he presents his own interpretations of "After Hours," "Almost Like Being in Love," "Autumn Leaves," "No Blues" and others very, very well.