Praise for Pursuit:

This bold and striking new big band recording reflects a giant, generous world of influences.  Guitarist Richard Nelson has written a suite of music that would seem at home on a jazz stage or in a contemporary concert- music venue. . . The writing is complex but emotionally engaging, dense yet clean and resonant. . . .The colors of the orchestra are spellbinding, evocative and powerful.”

— -New York City Jazz Record

A student of avant-garde composers Donald Erb and Mario Davidovsky, and a core member of Mark Harvey's Boston- based Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Nelson takes a few cues from these experiences, and adds more than a few of his own, to come up with a distinctive synthesis of modern jazz, and contemporary orchestral music. . . Nelson is an ambitious and daring composer . . . Props go to Nelson for letting the members of his ensemble have most of the solo space, though his guitar solo on "Strive" leaves a hunger to hear more. ”


Nelson's new CD "Pursuit," released this week, is a bold and highly satisfying musical statement by his Large Ensemble (13 musicians). Recorded live at the University of Maine at Augusta, where Nelson teaches, the work includes five movements that range in content from thoughtful solos through chamberlike passages for duos and trios to full-out collective improvisations. Add touches of big band swagger, as Nelson does, and you've got a lot to paddle through - but it's a very fun trip. ”

— Portland Press Herald

Eleven years into local CD reviewing and I'm pretty sure that Pursuit, guitarist Richard Nelson's third album, is the first to feature a jazz ensemble of this size and scope.  It's a pleasure to listen to. . . . Associate professor of music and head of the composition concentration at the University of Maine at Augusta, Nelson here is documenting what must be considered a significant American composition.­”

— Portland Phoenix

Praise for Origin Story:

Thirst for experimentation . . . pushing of known boundaries . . . appreciation for the time-tested sounds of the tradition. Not your typical guitar date.”

— Cadence

Nelson merges Euro-jazz type improvisation with the upfront tenacity of a multi-directional New York City downtown-like vibe. ”

— EJazzNews

Praise for Figurations:

Serious . . . intense . . . imaginative . . . profound”

— Dave Nathan in All Music Guide

Nelson's tone is ripe with clarity . . . his guitar rings out with his original concepts.”

— Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine