It’s always exciting for me when I learn of an interesting and skillful new player. There’s not that many if you think about it. So when I popped Moment into my CD player, I was pleasantly surprised to find that John Nash is one of the good guys.
Moment is a seven song recording featuring all-original solo instrumentals written by John Nash. It’s a simple presentation of straightforward ʻukulele music, but that’s what makes it charming.
John’s playing style is very precise and his arrangements fall into the “strumming” solo ʻukulele category, sounding like some of the new-school Jake disciples such as Kalei Gamiao. The recording quality is very good. Just one ʻukulele in a room with a mic. It sounds very personal, real, and live – like you’re sitting in the studio.
The EP starts off with a energetic tune in 6/8 called Relentless. It’s a great first look at what John can do with his ʻukulele (and in 6/8 to boot!). Then the tone drops down with Spiral Staircase, a brooding, restless piece – one of my favorites. Sideways steps up into a rapid, but understated strumming groove. This song reminds me of the awe one feels when visiting a new place. I really dig the feel of Sentiment – sort of James Hill meets Daniel Ho for a day of surfing. No More starts off with an urgent picking part before charging into another minor groove. Sleep or Dream is a nice break from the rapid strumming of the other tunes. John uses a softer brushing style of playing for this track that really lets the melody breathe. It made me want to hear more of this playing approach. Finishing off the record is The Following, John’s choice for a music video (below). This song bookends the album with a bang, matching the vibe of the first tune with that contemporary ʻukulele sound.
Overall, I really liked this fresh offering of original songs from John Nash. From end to end Moment was confident, composed, and didn’t try to be anything. If you like this style of solo ʻukulele you’ll be stoked with the short but concise journey Moment takes you on.