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  • Tiburcio
  • Red Car Reminicing
  • Forward Momentum

LA Stories

Josh Nelson



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In stock


In stock

Born and raised in Southern California, pianist / composer / bandleader Josh Nelson has performed and recorded with many of the world’s most respected musicians including Kurt Elling, Natalie Cole, Benny Golson and John Clayton. Nelson is also widely viewed as one of the most sought-after bandleaders on the west coast with seven critically acclaimed records under his own name. Nelson’s new recording for Sam First Records documents a wide range of his music written specifically for, and performed alongside, long-time collaborators including modern saxophone icon Walter Smith III and special guest vocalist Gaby Moreno.


Josh Nelson (piano)
Gaby Moreno (vocals)
Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone)
Larry Koonse (guitar)
Luca Alemanno (bass)
Dan Schnelle (drums)

01 Forward Momentum 7:01*
02 Tiburcio 6:20*
03 Old Friend 2:42
04 Lonely Are The Brave 7:46*
05 Red Car Reminiscing 7:32*
06 Feed The Birds 4:41*
07 Lullaby for Ludvig 3:45
08 Travel Town 8:05*
09 Spirit 4:17
(*) indicates tracks that appear on the vinyl LP

All songs composed by Josh Nelson (Steelbird Music BMI) except Feed The Birds, written by The Sherman Brothers (Wonderland Music Company Inc, BMI).

Recorded live at Sam First in Los Angeles, CA on February 19 and 20, 2022

Paul Solomon – Executive Producer, Cover Photograph
David Robaire – Producer, Designer
Nick Calapine – Recording Engineer
Stuart Schenk – Mixing Engineer
Gene Paul at G&J Audio – Mastering Engineer
Robert Petersen – Liner Notes

Special thanks to all project participants: Dan Davilla, Jasmine Danielpour, Dena Hulbert, Jonathan Watts, Jeffrey Burbank, Douglas Flaker, Katherine Griffin, Laurence Israel, Ben Lohman, Todd Savitz, E. Reynolds, Jody Simon 

The Artist

“While Los Angeles history is a recurring theme throughout the album, it is as much about Nelson's personal story as it is about Los Angeles history. As a result, this album is both historical and deeply personal.”
- Robert Petersen (From the LA Stories liner notes)
Born and raised in Southern California pianist-composer-bandleader Josh Nelson has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, John Clayton, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Dave Koz, Joe Chambers and Peter Erskine. Nelson toured with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole for six years and continues to tour with vocalists Gaby Moreno, Freda Payne, Alicia Olatuja, Sara Gazarek, accordionist Richard Galliano, saxophonist Tom Scott, multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and violinist Christian Howes. He taught jazz for four years at Soka University and more recently at Cal State University Northridge. In 2006, Nelson was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Nelson’s latest release, 2017’s The Sky Remains, is his love letter to Los Angeles. The third in his Discovery Project series, it unearths hidden gems and little-known stories about the composer’s hometown. The Sky Remains blends narrative and music in persuasive fashion. Nelson continues to write new music honoring his native Los Angeles, the most-recent of which was captured during his live recording session at Sam First in February 2022 with a stellar band comprising Walter Smith III, Larry Koonse, Luca Alemanno, Dan Schnelle and special guest vocalist Gaby Moreno.
Josh Nelson

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