Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Zaid Nasser is one of the most authentic voices on saxophone today. As the son of jazz and blues great Jamil Nasser (nee George Joyner), Zaid was born and bred on the jazz scene. As a young saxophonist, he often spent his days with Papa Jo Jones, getting lessons in jazz and life from Ffather Time himself. Early on, he was sitting in with Lou Donaldson and George Coleman. He has been on the New York scene now for over twenty years. He's played with Cecil Payne, Junior Cook, Jon Hendricks, and Harold Mabern. Zaid spent three years with Calvin Newborn's band in Memphis, crisscrossing the south and playing in roadside juke joints, developing a rich, deep sound all of his own. Zaid worked for three years with organist Bill Doggett, and spent another three with Panama Francis in the Savoy Sultans. At Smalls, he has been a regular feature for over ten years, leading his own quartet, co-leading a quintet with altoist Mike Mullins, as a sideman in the Across 7 Street Septet, and as a part of the Frank Hewitt quintet on their legendary Saturday late night feature. Zaid's sound is organic and authentic. He goes for broke every time out, and he plays smart music with a kind of freedom that is unusual, reminiscent of the great underground legend C Sharpe. His debut recording, just recorded, is arriving in September 2007 from Smalls Records.