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Path of Totality

by Quinsin Nachoff

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    High quality, 180 gram, 12" 2x Gatefold LP (4 sides of music - A, B, C, D) - comes with download code containing the digital album in multiple formats

    Includes unlimited streaming of Path of Totality via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    edition of 300 
    Purchasable with gift card

      $39 USD or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    High quality, 6 panel digifile with a velvety soft-touch laminate finish, 2 CDs and a 12 page booklet with liner notes written by Shaun Brady

    Includes unlimited streaming of Path of Totality via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $14 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Comes with album artwork booklet PDF + album cover photo as a jpg
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD  or more


Bounce 19:15
Splatter 13:23



David Binney
alto saxophone,
C melody saxophone

Quinsin Nachoff
tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Matt Mitchell
piano, Prophet 6, modular synthesizer, Novachord, harpsichord, Estey pump harmonium

Kenny Wollesen
drums, Wollesonic percussion
(#1, #3, #4, #6)

Nate Wood
drums (#1, #2, #5, #6)

On Bounce:
Jason Barnsley
1924 Kimball Theatre Organ

On Toy Piano Meditation:
Mark Duggan
marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, crotales, Tibetan singing bowls

On March Macabre:
Carl Maraghi
baritone saxophone, bass clarinet

Dan Urness, Matt Holman

Ryan Keberle

Alan Ferber
trombone, bass trombone

Orlando Hernández
tap dance

On Splatter:
David Travers-Smith
Buchla 200E analog modular system, EMS Synthi 100 analog/digital hybrid synthesizer, Arp Chroma (Rhodes) analog synthesizer, clavioline, Oberheim SEM, modular Moog


Recorded at:
The National Music Centre
Calgary, Canada
November 11, 12 & 13, 2016

David Travers-Smith – Recording Engineer
Jason Tawkin – Assistant Engineer

Thanks also to John Leimseider,
Jason Valleau and Adam Fox;
JazzYYC and Kodi Hutchinson

Systems Two Recording Studios,
Brooklyn, New York
December 19, 2016
September 8 & 9, 2017

Mike Marciano – Recording Engineer
Andrew Cavaciuti – Assistant Engineer
Thanks also to Nancy Marciano

Figure 8 Recording Studios,
Brooklyn, New York
September 9, 2017

David Travers-Smith – Recording Engineer
Nate Mendelsohn – Assistant Engineer
Thanks also to Michael Coleman

Produced by:
David Travers-Smith and Quinsin Nachoff
Executive Producer: Michael Janisch

Edited, Mixed and Mastered at
found.sound.toronto by
David Travers-Smith

Artwork, Design and Layout: Kate Gentile

All compositions by Quinsin Nachoff (SOCAN)


released February 8, 2019


Quinsin Nachoff’s Flux communicates an extraordinarily colorful palette of conceptual reasoning and musical expression in the effulgent new release, Path of Totality. Working with saxophonist David Binney, pianist/keyboardist Matt Mitchell, drummers Kenny Wollesen and Nate Wood, plus a clutch of guest artists, saxophonist/composer Nachoff’s overarching inspiration arose from the moon’s total eclipse of the sun in 2017. That event became a dramatic, natural metaphor for the band’s evolutionary creative process, plus a reminder (especially amidst current political and environmental discord) of light’s assured emanation from and triumph over transitory darkness.

The Toronto-born, New York-based saxophonist devises this project’s music as metamorphic narratives, hence the breadth of these six mainly larger-scale works. “I’ve been focusing, back and forth, on the jazz and classical worlds, especially over the last five years”, he explains. “I was featured in the première of my saxophone concerto at the 2017 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, so my thinking has taken on a larger scope, which allows more time for compositional development and the weaving-in of improvisational aspects.”

Nachoff’s acoustic-based compositions each begin from a clear-cut kernel of an idea, with their own set of parameters, which are then developed into stories of differing landscapes, all crafted from the ground up for these specific players to interpret and improvise across. Underlying this cerebral artistry is his fascination with mathematical and scientific disciplines, as well as the formative experiences of a family upbringing which exposed him, first hand, to an array of 20th century electronic, avant-garde and minimalist music. Experimentalism is further bolstered by distinctive sonorities from the vast, living archive of keyboards and synthesizers at Canada’s National Music Centre (Nachoff was amongst its first artists in residence) and Kenny Wollesen’s ‘Wollesonics’, the drummer’s assemblage of unconventional, self-invented percussion instruments.

A progressive yet cyclical impetus in giant-stepping title track ‘Path of Totality’ is explored through thunderous, phased double-drum patterns and far-reaching saxophone figures; and ‘Bounce’ takes motivic ideas and rhythmic structures from a bouncing ball’s motion (studied through mathematical programmes), manipulating them to create elasticized environments, the two saxophonists’ extemporizations eventually narrowing against the full swell of a 1924 Kimball Theatre Organ.

Otherworldly ‘Toy Piano Meditation’, influenced by John Cage’s ‘Toy Piano Suite’ of 1948, transforms five-note melodies over time; and its slow, Gamelan-hued growth reflects Cage’s interest in Eastern philosophy and obsession with mushrooms. Here, Nachoff describes David Binney’s transcendental coda/cadenza as “one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard.” Kenny Wollesen’s totalitarian-suggestive ‘march machine’ threads through ‘March Macabre’, an ominous, big-band-scored political commentary of unrest and disarray, its regimented angst finally broken by the freedom of Orlando Hernández’s intricate tap dance.

Harpsichord and Novachord pointillism, coupled with gurgling modular synth and mesmerizing drumming, underpin Nachoff’s and Binney’s dazzling saxophone extemporizations in ferocious ‘Splatter’; and portraying intersecting planetary pathways, the double drums and saxes of ‘Orbital Resonances’ vociferously rotate around Matt Mitchell’s central piano focus towards a tumultuous crescendo.

As you immerse yourself in its narrative, on whatever level you connect with its story, Path of Totality's artistic journey continues to intrigue, fascinate and enthrall.


“Path of Totality is a stunning, deep dive of an album, the sort of music in which one could spend hours submersed.”
★★★★1/2 DownBeat Magazine

"An imaginative and ground breaking suite of compositions... Complex music that requires and demands multiple replays, the better to understand and appreciate the extent of its many nuances... it certainly merits it."
★★★★1/2 All About Jazz

"A very rewarding listen."
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine

"This sonic adventure is a form of alchemy, a magical science beyond explanation... Quinsin Nachoff continues to mature as a composer, musician, and arranger."
Step Tempest

"This album abounds with appealing ideas, both textural and improvisational, as well as gripping tension, which is rarely abandoned. A group showing a phenomenal facility in blazing undiscovered sonic paths."

"There are moments of great beauty in this music which goes beyond all the boundaries of conventional forms. Experimental styles are the norm, borders are freely crossed, arts and sciences, astronomy and physics provide the inspirations for these extraordinary, thought-provoking compositions and solos."
Bebop Spoken Here

“Quite dazzling.”
Radio REC

“Quinsin Nachoff dares, assumes and thus demonstrates a great mastery of his art.”
Culture Jazz

“A wild and thunderously exciting tour de force.”
★★★★ Concerto Magazine

“One of the most stunning projects to see the light of day thus far in 2019.”
Best of Bandcamp

“The whole album is characterized by a continuous ‘freedom’, cosmic... Power music.”

“A distinctive recording, put together with great attention to form and detail — and performed with enormous skill.”
The Arts Fuse

“Transcending pigeon-holing and expectations but drawing on an ever-expanding series of diverse influences.”
Downtown Music Gallery

“Profoundly heavy music with a staggering amount of commitment behind it, evident from the complex compositions, arrangements, and playing... Bravo!”
In on the Corner

“Cutting edge jazz/instrumental music that feels it's way through a round of nostalgia by playing vintage electro-acoustic instruments.”
Midwest Record

“Sets into musical language the album’s commitment to understanding of scientific truths.”
Arts Journal

“A stunning collection of pieces that run the gamut from free jazz to experimental interactions and beyond.”
Step Tempest

“A really excellent album.”

“A stunning, rich, diverse journey through colours, rhythms and atmospheres... Inspired.”
Radio REC

"The trio is loose without being casual, at once taut and free, and the consistent quality of detailed interplay and invention brings Nachoff's forceful, inventive tenor playing to the fore. It may be his most satisfying recording to date."
Whole Note

"The three bandmates push forward while weaving in and out of one another's paths."
DownBeat Magazine

"There’s no doubting its excellence on both a compositional and performance level. A remarkable achievement from all concerned.
★★★★ UK Vibe

"If 'Path of Totality' is the moon, this music brings the listener close enough to reach out and touch it. That’s no small thing. In fact, it might be everything."
Bird is the Worm


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The Whirlwind Artist Page for saxophonist, composer and arranger Quinsin Nachoff.

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