Australian native alto sax practitioiner Nick Hempton is distingished by his smooth tone and direct delivery. The Business is distinguished by a few things, too. First of all, Hempton is joined by Art Hirahara, is in-demand session pianist who last spring delivered a solid album himself. Secondly, Hempton’s eight originals are all dulcet, deviating and resolutely swinging. Hempton shifts gears from the steady groove of “Flapjacks In Belo” to tender ballads like “The Wading Game,” but they’re tied together by an effortless flow and excellent supprt from his working band that inlcudes Hirahara, bassist Marco Panascia, drummer Dan Aran and for some tracks, guitarist Yotam Silberstein. Only two covers, and the standout is a cookin’ impression of Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s “From Bechet, Byas, And Fats.”
For just his second album, Nick Hempton shows that he means, well, business. Seriously good jazz business. The Business was released July 5 by Posi-Tone Records.