The Longing Hours by Nelson Foltz



Trombonist Nelson Foltz studied the instrument in his native Pittsburgh and later at New York University. 

He has toured extensively with Broadway shows “Oliver”, “Cinderella”, “Fame” and “Grease”.  He has also backed Barry White, Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack. 

After returning to New York, Foltz decided to record his own material and the result is this, his debut CD, released by New York’s Syberdelix Records. 

The Longing Hours Prelude is a blend of electric piano and the haunting vocal of Carolyn Leonhart. 

A dark atmosphere is conjured up by bass clarinet and bass trombone, together with ‘spooky loops’ on I See You Again.  Still it doesn’t prepare you for the plaintive cry of Foltz’s trombone. 

Carolyn Leonhart’s vocal on Ivan Lins’ Life in the Modern World is heart-rending.  The same is true of the minor chords on acoustic guitar.  The trombone is a backing instrument here and wails mournfully like a dog that’s lost its master.  This is painfully emotional.  Stunning! 

Modinha (Serenade) is a classical arrangement of a Jobim song and is sombre.   

Ironically the Foltz-penned Karin is more conventionally Latin.  That is if you can call an acoustic guitar/trombone duet conventional.  The lazy atmosphere created by the guitar survives despite some adventurous trombone soloing. 

A 12-bar blues bassline walks through Disabled.  Stephen Benson’s lush semi-acoustic guitar sounds warm and this time so does the trombone.  Again the solo is adventurous and I realise that maybe I am less so… 

I fall in Love Too Easily is a solo trombone piece. 

Kenny Ascher’s piano is unadorned and moving on the slow and sad Farewell. 

Continuing the parting theme, So this is Goodbye features a faintly trembling vocal and acoustic guitar backing.  The trombone whispers its support towards the end. 

Horn sounds electrical, like a buzzing, at the start and is a tone poem more than a song.  It features more ‘spooky loops’ and is highly atmospheric.  If I were a music editor on the Discovery Channel, this would be on my list.  

Typical of Foltz’s imaginative compositions is Amadok – a solo flute piece with an intensely eastern feel. 

Carolyn Leonhart’s mournful vocal is again the principal feature of The Longing Hours. 

It’s fair to say that this album explores boundaries.  How much can a trombone sound like someone crying?  How classical can you make a Latin song sound?  How dark can you make it sound? 

It’s also fair to say that because of its inventiveness, this album is likely to be enjoyed most by people who don’t like their music categorised.  If that describes you, I would advise you to hear this, if only to illustrate how inadequate the written word is to describe certain musical forms. 



Syberdelix Records - cat no. MMNF040202   Producer – Nelson Foltz