Thursday, July 30th, 2009 5:31 PM PDT


The Rocket says:

"Like Herb Ellis, Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass before him, Nova is a smooth guitarist who tosses off fluid runs and melodic riffs like nobody's business... The band is swinging... The musicianship is hot and tasteful... Nova's got the goods..."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer says:

"Nova has succesfully anchored Jazz Nights in Seattle. And his CD, Live at Belltown Billiards, has him surrounded by local legends."

Tacoma's Choices magazine says:

"Super Nova...I can imagine the whole billiards hall standing silent when the trio performs... His guitar sends me everytime-beauitful."

Earshot Jazz Magazine writes:

"Nova's command of Jazz guitar technique, combined with rock energy, his beautiful sound, his engaging stage presence, merge perfectly with the room creating a warm welcoming atmosphere? The rest is Seattle Jazz history!"

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 5:30 PM PDT

Review ? The Shadow of Your Smile

Jazz Improv. Vol. 5, Number 4, Summer 2005

"It is immediately apparent from the opening notes of The Shadow Of Your Smile that Brian Nova is a fabulous player, and highly skilled exponent of mainstream jazz. From beginning to end, Nova delivers consistently swinging lines. As it has been said, he plays from his soul not his wig. He plays with a solid sense of time and timing. He delivers eight-note lines that breathe. He tastefully embodies changes in dynamics and cross accents within the lines. He has an understanding of the importance of contrast - easily transitioning, and creating a dialogue between single note lines and block chords. There are no inconsistencies on this album either.

The album opens with the Johnny Mandel standard "The Shadow Of Your Smile" done as a bossa-nova. Nova has amazing technique, which is obvious from the double-time technical explosion he launches into the first chorus of his solo on this first track. Nova summons this kind of showmanship on a number of occasions throughout the album - for example, on his performance of " A Day In The Life Of A Fool." ... Nova's musicianship and creativity are significantly stellar.

In performing an album of standards, one of the aspects of a player's musicianship that is exposed is the ability to play a melody. Nova demonstrates that mastery and sensitivity on such pieces as "Time After Time," approached as a ballad, the medium groove "Honeysuckle Rose," "The More I See You," and the unaccompanied rendition of "Beautiful Love."
The audio fidelity, balance between instruments, and sound of the guitar on Brian Nova's The Shadow Of Your Smile album, provide the foundation for more than an hour of straight-ahead jazz, and highly enjoyable listening.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 5:28 PM PDT

Review ? Blue & Bossa Nova:

?Nova uncorks a series of tasty, understated workouts on a repertoire of jazz standards and Bossa Nova classics. The guitarists long, single note runs paint some well-drawn narratives... and the rhythm duo of Catlett and Williamson provide supple, swinging underpinnings. The leader's warm unadorned vocal readings add a nostalgia-induced romantic gloss to the proceedings, but it's Nova's string-bending and the collective swing that impresses me most... The members listen as well as they play, and they play really well.?

- Jazz Steps