He’s back. Jeff Nelson’s back! Just.
And the Canadian Brass knows it. It wasn’t the same when he was gone. Probably, though, it surprised everyone that he would ever return. Most things like that don’t. The Beatles didn’t. That kind of talent can’t sit still. Usually. Wonder what brought him back? You’ll find out on Thursday, October 4th.
Yes, he was a magician, too. At 6 feet 4 inches, the Canadian pig farmers he came from couldn’t keep the girls from him. But the horn brought him into a world of magic Houdini and Barnum and Bailey would have recognized as their own. And he could have just chosen magic. But that was only a hobby.
I’d met him at Western Carolina University in 2006 for a weeklong symposium for hornists. He was playing with something called the Transatlantic Horn Quartet, of international reputation. Two of the horns in it were premier players from London and two were from America. The London horn players were the top players in England – think Masterpiece Theatre. Jeff was new from the Canadian Brass and the Brits were delighted to have acquired him. I know, because I was familiar with them, having studied with one. They adored Jeff.
So, tell me what you think. I can’t be there for the performance, because I’ll be playing, too. But I would love to hear your reactions.