Neil Alexander & NAIL
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Neil Alexander & NAIL


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Neil Alexander brings new meaning to the term “independant music.” On the Masterful CD “Alone at Last,” keyboardist and composer Alexander combines elements of jazz, new age and space sounds for an instrumnetal tour de force that could well beget it’s own new catagory: liberation music.
Adventurous in the moods it creates and carefully nuanced in it’s transitions from one song to the next, “Alone At Last” is like looking at the light of the stars in the dark sky. Each glance provided by each new pass throug the speakers brings to your attention some new fascination you’d missed earlier.
Alexander is another fine example of the “bridge” generation of area musicians, deeply influenced by the best traditions of ‘60s pop and psychedelia, yet firmly connected to the newest impulses toward electronic ambience building.
The 10 minute epic “Wheel of Stars” is a good example of the far reaching moods he evokes. The song echoes the majestic guitar sounds of 70's art rock. Yet it’s overall impact is forward looking, sounding very much like a grown-up version of what you might find reverberating through any recent ambient mix.
When he’s not “alone”, Alexander lends his considerable keyboard skilss to the popular Pink Floyd tribute band “The Machine”. A long standing tradition in it’s own right, The Machine has a special spot in the hearts of many area club goers for it’s years of great shows at like the departed “Fore ‘n Aft” in White Plains NY, or “The Strand” in Providence RI. Seeing them isa rite of passage well worth pursuing if you haven’t had the plesure; and while you’re there, don’t forget to ask Neil for a copy of ‘Alone At Last”. - PAT WALSH / PEEKSKILL HERALD

""Galvanized" Press Release"

Jazz synthesist Neil Alexander celebrates the release of “GALVANIZED”, the new disc from his innovative electric Jazz group NAIL. A professional musician with a varied background, Neil is adept in the usually disparate worlds of Jazz, Funk, Ambient, Electronica, Rock and Classical. He finds a way to bring all these styles together in a cohesive format. NAIL is a tight versatile unit shifting and combining the aforementioned styles forming an expanded musical vocabulary. Their new CD “GALVANIZED” (Pdog Records #00531) features drummer Dean Sharp (David Torn, Moby, Rachel Sage) and bassist Dave Hofstra (John Zorn, Microscopic Sextet), both masters from the New York experimental music scene. “GALVANIZED” is improvisational, rich in texture and variety, and maintains Neil’s signature sound and style. Lush pads, screaming guitars, strange synths, environmental sounds and more inhabit this sonic landscape, knit tightly together by Sharp and Hofstra.
NAIL’s music covers a range of musical possibilities - from hard swinging post bop to heavy funk, electronica and sustained dreamy soundscapes. At the core is an emphasis on improvisation and a solid foundation in Jazz. This flexibility enables them to fit in the explosive “Jam Band” genre alongside John Scofield and Medeski, Martin & Wood.
NAIL’s current lineup includes drummer Amit Shamir (Charnett Moffet) and bassist Joseph Pellatier. They are frequently joined by collaborators such as Norbert Stachel on Saxophone (Tower of Power, Roger Waters Band), long time associate Steve Sacco on percussion and electronics, and guitarist Mark Dziuba. And while the focus is on Neil’s original compositions, their sets can contain covers by Ralph Tower, Bill Evans, Jan Garbarek, Jeff Beck, and curiously arranged Jazz standards.
Having performed and/or recorded in a variety of situations (Modern Dance, Avant Garde Theater, Film, and studio work) including 9 years of touring with The Machine (successful Pink Floyd Tribute /Jam Band), Neil’s experience on stage and in the studio carries over to NAIL performances. Nothing is left out of the “stew.” Recently they began incorporating Electronic, Trance & Jungle. While Neil continues to tour with The Machine, he maintains the other creative outlets of solo acoustic piano performances and a solo electronic act he calls “Logical Oscillator”, performed entirely on laptop computer. - Pdog Records

"NAIL - ing it: Orange county musician Neil Alexander and his group NAIL have found their niche in the ambient land of Jazz-Fusion."

Every musician has a story, a circuitous narrative chronicling his uniquely tangled pursuit of artistic gratification. Jazz keyboardist Neil Alexander is no exception. His journey has been marked by a number of musical detours, including colossal romances with an array of styles, from rock to jazz to classical to dance music. Alas, Alexander, now 44 years old, believes he has finally found his niche by melding his assortment of influences and inspirations into a jazz-baked jambalaya, a musical stew of disparate, yet harmonious, ingredients called Nail.
Originally from New York City and now living in Newburgh with his wife and daughter, Neil Alexander spent much of his youth indulging in the pleasures of progressive rock and jazz fusion. From 1978-1994, he played keyboards in A. Animal, a muscular fusion experiment with a rock ‘n roll flavor that was known for its use of odd time signatures. After the band broke up, he released Alone at Last, his first solo record. Alexander is a world-class musician, who, in addition to his personal endeavors, has been a member of The Machine, a nationally recognized Pink Floyd tribute band, for the last nine years. He formed his current band, Nail, in 1998. But the original incarnation sounded nothing like the outfit that is impressing audiences in 2005.
“The first record we put out, Bent, was kind of hard edged jazz fusion. It was a four piece band and it was good, but there was something missing. So I let the band go and decided to regroup.”
Enter versatile, renowned drummer Dean Sharp, a veteran who has played with everyone from Moby to Rachel Sage. Sharp, who plays drums on Nail’s most recent release, Galvanized, reintroduced Alexander to a more spacious, ambient jazz sound, and the two immediately hit it off.
“I was exposed to ambient jazz at an early age and kind of got away from it,” says Alexander. “Meeting Dean was very inspirational. He’s been very supportive through everything. At first, I thought Galvanized was okay, but after listening back to it several times, I really started to believe we were on to something.”
The result is a spacey, textural record that is both hypnotic and, well, galvanizing. Galvanized, cut in one afternoon by Alexander, Sharp, and bassist Dave Hofstra, is a broad musical landscape, an atmospheric collage that rolls in tender waves like long, slow mornings, and gets thick and juicy like the underbelly of chaotic midnights. It manages to create its sound without the aid of a guitar. Alexander and Sharp both play samplers to give the record a splash of trancey electronica.
After Galvanized, Alexander realized he still wasn’t satisfied. Nail’s new record, tentatively titled, Tugging at the Infinite, is slated for release in the summer of 2005. “The new record is the closest I’ve come to really doing what I always envisioned. It combines the ambient feel of the last record with some of my old, rockish, jazz fusion influences. Plus we throw in some of that funky, jam band kind of feel, which is really big right now. I think we’ve really found our true voice.”
Of course, to pull off something this ambitious, the right musicians are essential. Alexander has put together an accomplished group for his live show, featuring drummer Amit Shamir and bassist Joseph Pellatier. The live show also features some solid guest appearances. Local celebrity DJ Wavy Davey showed up at a recent gig in Kingston to spin turntables with Alexander and his crew.
“If you have the right musicians, you can play any combination of music. I used to play in different genre bands to satisfy my different passions. But now, I realize it doesn’t have to be that way. You can do it all in one project. The title of the new record is really appropriate. We’re trying to tug at the universe a little bit, to see what happens when things change shape and don’t look the same anymore. That concept really captures the way we approach the music.”
Nail’s next show is at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen in Saugerties on February 26th. Enjoy the melange.

For more information, visit
- Daniel Lanzetta / PULSE magazine

"Nail - Galvanized, Review of new electric Jazz album"

Although classified as “Jazz,” Nail’s latest electric Jazz album “Galvanized” is not exactly along the lines of Louis Armstrong or Billie Holiday. I was more apt to classify it as electric or synthesized “arrangements” on the first listen, but a closer depiction did show that Nail does indeed have the fundamentals of Jazz at it’s roots. Every song has it’s own style whether it is New Age, Rock, or Funk, however somewhere within them is that old familiar jive sound.

Nail is headed up and produced by long time musician Neil Alexander who was joined by bassist David Hofstra and drummer/percussionist Dean Sharp to create the interesting form of Jazz found on “Galvanized.” Alexander has been touring with the group The Machine for the past nine years, but uses Nail to expressive his creativity (and there is a lot of it). His interest in music started at a very young age and he has produced numerous recordings since. This life long musical experience is evident in his playing.

Most of the compositions on “Galvanized” start of with an appealing, often ominous intro, and from there Alexander seems to take the music into any direction he pleases. The songs pretty much flow into each other with little or no break, so these intros are important in distinguishing them. Otherwise, you go from “School of Velocity” which is very melodious to “Ghost Dance,” a much harder rock, without acknowledging there was a song change. The flow makes it easy to get somewhat hypnotized by the rhythms, all the while having different emotions rise and fall.

“Ghost Dance” in itself is an exceptionally interesting song. It is varies between hard and soft rock that sounds like an electric guitar playing, but amazingly, there are no guitars on this album. There are also several parts, particularly in the song “The Winter,” where Alexander maneuvers his digital keyboard to sound as classical as Mozart. Very little on the album gives any indication that there are only three performers, as it at often times sounds like an entire orchestra. In various places throughout there are also two different types of samplers; Neil, on one for sound fit, and Sharp on the other that samples them while they are playing, and then can play it back in real time. Collectively, it is an accomplished effort.

“Galvanized” takes a lot of listening to due to it’s sophisticated arrangements. For more information on Nail and Neil Alexander visit

This CD can be sampled CD Baby - Music Shopper Forum

"Neil Alexander: Alone At Last"

Neil Alexander's CD Alone At Last is very much a
mood piece. In fact, Neil states on the liner notes that "This
album is dedicated to all the loners of the world - may we find
strength in solitude and peace in our journey". To me, this CD
captured the feeling of being alone but not lonely - some of
my favorite time.

Neil is the keyboardist in the Pink Floyd tribute band "The
Machine", and while this has a Floydish vibe going on at
times (especially in the opener "Machine!"), it is only as one
influence of many. Neil Alexander handles the piano and
keyboards, and the lion's share of the guitar duties, as well. In
fact, Neil handled all of the instruments on quite a few songs.
Helping out are Ryan Ball and Dan Johanson on guitars, Lou
Magliente, Marc Slutsky, Greg Burrows and Frank O' The
Mountain on drums, Dave Lewitt on Kat drums, and Armen
Haliburian on percussion. Neil Alexander wrote all of the
songs except for "Time Remembered" by Bill Evans, and
"Two Vamps As Guests" by Steve Hackett.

This CD was released in 1996; wish I had known about this
excellent disc back then. Highly recommended.
~ Mark Rabuffo

"Neil Alexander’s Nail"

March 5, 2004.
Alexander is as versatile as a player can be. From a solo performance of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” (at The Uptown March 20) to his summer gig with the reggae band at Gully’s in Newburgh, Alexander’s wide-open-mind and hot chops make him da man in demand. Between tours he finds time for his own project, “Nail,” a truly original groove of acid-funk and jam-rock trips. His line-up always includes fantastic musicians and djs, like Tower of Power sax-man, Norbert Statchell. Dig what’s hip at the Corner Stage, a jazz-friendly room with soul. 9pm. $3. Middletown. - Chronogram

"CD Review: Tugging at the Infinite"

CD Review: Tugging at the Infinite
Neil Alexander & NAIL
by DJ Wavy Davy, April 30, 2007
Rock ’n’ rollers have their own version of the American Dream: to quit their day jobs and write that symphony they’ve always wanted to write. Last year keyboardist Neil Alexander finally did so, leaving Pink Floyd tribute band The Machine and spending six months writing and recording Tugging at the Infinite with his personal project, NAIL. Fans of supercharged synth funk will be glad he did, as these eight tracks deliver the goods with an army of heavy sidemen. Standout cuts include the stellar “Starlight Casts No Shadow,” dedicated to a late friend, musician Suzy Star. The song starts and ends as a twangy rock ballad, but funks out in the middle, and is led by Alexander’s ear-grabbing piano and the hot rhythm section of T. Xiques on drums and Charlie Knicely on bass. The album is primarily a studio effort but includes two live tracks; one of these, “The One That Got Away,” features the killer tenor sax of Norbert Stachel of Tower of Power. There are no electric guitars on this record, but even savvy listeners will be put to the test as Alexander’s keyboard mastery allows him to mimic some of the greatest six-string licks. The spectrum of styles across this instrumental CD—from synth waves to hectic drums and bass-style jams—keep the disc fresh on every spin. NAIL will hammer the Chthonic Clash coffeehouse in Beacon on June 16. - Chronogram


"Tugging At The Infinite" 2007 Pdog Records.
"Galvanized" - 2005 Pdog Records
"Bent" - 2001 Pdog Records

Additional Original Recordings:
Logical Oscillator "Downelectro" - 2007 Pdog Records
Neil Alexander - "Newburgh: An Urban Romance" - 2004 PDog Records
Inner Music Ensemble - "One" - 2000 Pdog Records
Neil Alexander - "Alone at Last"- 1996 Pdog Records
A. Animal - "Overhaul" - Originally Released in 1990 on MuWorks records;
Remastered & Rereleased in 2001 on Pdog Records



“...a broad musical landscape, an atmospheric collage that rolls in tender waves like long, slow mornings, and gets thick and juicy like the underbelly of chaotic midnights…and it manages to create its sound without the aid of a guitar.” – Dan Lanzetta, Pulse Magazine

Led by jazz pianist and synth wizard Neil Alexander, Neil Alexander & NAIL seeks to broaden the landscape of Jazz and improvised music. With stylistic diversity and fierce musicianship, they skillfully blend modern and traditional forms with experimental concepts and hi tech electronic music, fusing it into an grooving, accessible sound that's mesmerizing. Featuring bassist Charlie Kniceley and drummer Nadav Zelniker, NAIL brings audiences a unique celebration of life and music. Their performance roster includes The Blue Note in NYC; opening for the likes of John Scofield, and performing at many other festivals and clubs. They’re currently touring to support their 3rd CD “Tugging At The Infinite”, featuring the smash hit “Everyman”. In addition, they have now added Acoustic shows to their already formidable arsenal.
Starting with classical music at age 8, Keyboardist NEIL ALEXANDER fell in love with the sound of the synthesizer after hearing “Switched on Bach”. It would be another 7 years before he got his first synth. From then on he spent as much time becoming an expert programmer as well as a first rate pianist. Listening to keyboard heavy bands like ELP, Yes and Genesis growing up, another significant change came when he first heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra: Jazz! Since then he has performed continuously for 30+ years. He works with music in all forms and styles from Composer/Arranger and Production of Live Sound to Musical Theater, Modern Dance and Film. Grants from NYSCA and Meet The Composer gave Neil the opportunity to continue building on his composing skills. Neil also teaches Master Classes in Synthesizer Programming and Music Performance Technology, and composes works for small ensembles. As an active musician he has recordings and/or a performance history with a variety of groups and artists such as Gunther Hampel, Tal Ross (P-Funk), Charles Haynes, Erik Lawrence, and The Adaptors Movement Theater. His classical repertoire includes works by Stravinsky, Charles Ives, and John Cage. He recently retired from the Pink Floyd Tribute "The Machine", where he was a driving force in the group’s success for ten years.
Heavily influenced by the music and sounds of artists such as Zawinul, Jan Hammer, Eno, Bill Frisell and Bill Evans, Neil has forged a sound uniquely his own.
Drummer NADAV SNIR-ZELNICKER, who graduated with a BFA in music from the Jazz department at Purchase College Conservatory of Music in 2002. He has performed in numerous venues and festivals around the US with such greats as Jon Faddis, Dr. Todd Coolman, Arthur Lipner, Stella Mars, Howard Wilson big-band, the Dekel Bor Trio, The Burr Johnson Band, and the Celtic-Fusion band ”MacTalla Mo'r" among others.
Bassist CHARLIE KNICELY has been a staple on the Woodstock NY music scene for 30 years, playing in turns with a long list of artists including Al Martino, Jerry Vale, Ron Carter, Joe Beck, Ed Summerlin, Jack Dejohnette, Mike DeMicco, Warren Bernhardt, Pete Levin, Connie Francis, Danny Brubeck, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Lew Soloff and Rashid Ali. After retiring from the music scene in 1995 he is back and working to re-establish himself in the musical fabric of the northeast and Scotland where he has played many times in the Edinburgh International Fringe Arts Festival.
In addition to NAIL, Neil does solo acoustic & electronic performances (including “Logical Oscillator”, performed on Laptop Computer and “Scene Re-seen”, live electronic scoring of silent films).For booking info contact Neil Alexander directly at 914 - 805 - 4543. For more info and additional audio clips, go to the Official NAIL Website (see below).

NEIL ALEXANDER Has Performed and/or Recorded with the following artists:
The Machine (Pink Floyd Tribute) - Marty Balin (Jefferson Starship) - Logical Oscillator - Judi Silvano Quartet - Ira Coleman - Dean Sharp - Joe Lovano - John Scofield - Inner Music Ensemble - Hudson valley Improviser’s Collective - Erik Lawrence - A. Animal - 4Front - Tal Ross (P-Funk) - Paul Roach & The Young Lions - General Disturbance - Big Fun - Bumblefoot - Chainsaw Bear - Erik Lawrence - Robert Kopec Trio - Alexander/Dziuba/Kopec/Sharp - Frank O’ the Mountain - Gunther Hampel - Kaliedoscope Dance Company - Lillie Howard - Marvin Bu-ga-lu Smith Project - Mick and the Maelstrom - Mirror - Olive and The Branch - Purchase Dance Corps - Soundance - The Adaptors Movement Theater - Virginia Dare

About Neil:
Primarily self-taught, Neil Alexander was performing, composing and arranging by age 14. Now celebrating hi 10th year with his contemporary electric jazz ensemble “NAIL” he released “TUGGING AT THE INFINITE”, his 5th CD as a bandleader. He does sessio