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Nick Finzer - Dreams Visions Illusions (Outside In Music)

12 April 2023

The founder of the great Outside In label, Nick Finzer has spent the last decade gracing the jazz racks with a plethora of interesting and exciting musicians. He’s also a player himself, however, and takes time from promoting the likes of Steven Feifke, Roxy Coss, and the Adam Larson Trio to make his own records, of which Dreams Visions Illusions is the latest. Finzer’s sixth album has an introspective vibe, as he looks back over his career so far and contemplates the path taken to get where he is now. The album follows that road, from the initial spark on the anthemic melody of “To Dream a Bigger Dream” and the brisk resolve of “Follow Your Heart,” to the 6/8 drama of “I Thought I Took the Road Less Traveled” and the wry centering of “Waking Up,” which bespeaks the kind of zen state of mind that only someone who’s been through the trenches, accepted the curveballs, and kept his sense of humor owns. Finzer’s longtime sextet shifts from point to point with graceful ease, and the leader himself shines with smooth riffs and tasteful solos. If this album is any indication, life may be filled with Dreams Visions Illusions, but they’re features, not bugs.