Saxophonist Kyle Nasser was a student of Economics and Political Philosophy at Harvard University when his life was changed by an encounter with Hank Jones. The legendary pianist, then in his late 80s, visited Cambridge to teach and play a concert with the Harvard Jazz Band, making a profound impact on the young saxophonist. “Seeing him in peak form and expressing joy through music at such an advanced age was really deep,” Nasser recalls. “We took him out to dinner, ended up playing a three-hour session, and then he asked us to take him home so that he could get in some practicing before bed. That left a huge impression and reinforced that I should do this. I didn’t have any old investment banker friends that seemed very happy.”
Nasser graduated from Harvard and switched paths, leading him to another revered institution: Berklee College of Music. He’s now reaching another landmark along that path with his striking debut, Restive Soul, out March 24, 2015. A trace of the saxophonist’s former pursuit remains in the title, which was drawn from a quote by French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville ascribing his pursuit of politics to his own “restive and insatiable soul.” The album displays the keen intellect that landed Nasser at one of America’s most hallowed schools, along with the passion that steered him away from a potentially lucrative career in business to pursue his lifelong love of music.
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