Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Nu Band - Live in Paris (No Business, 2010)

Celebrating ten years together, The Nu Band: Roy Campbell, on trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn and flute, Mark Whitecage on alto saxophone and clarinet, Joe Fonda on bass and Lou Grassi on drums and percussion remain committed to spontaneous composition and improvisation and creating music in the moment. This live album from Paris is an excellent example of their art, opening with the lengthy "Somewhere over the Seine" has strong swirling saxophone over a deep bass and drum pocket. Strong exciting collective improvisation takes hold, with each instrument bubbling to the forefront and then slipping beneath the waves. Awesome fast trumpet from Campbell early in the performance gives way to sawing bowed bass and nimble percussion. A section of trumpet and saxophone duet precedes a subtle trio section of saxophone, bass and brushed drums. "Bolero Francaise" is another extended improvisation, that opens is a very cool fashion with Campbell moving to flute and improvising gently with saxophone and shaken percussion and thick bass. An open and intimate bass and drums section slowly evolves, building to faster collective improvisation. After a storming drum solo, the music builds to a very exciting saxophone trio free and fast, and Campbell returns to trumpet and joins in to finish things up. "Avant Galoppi" is a shorter fast paced improvisation that shows the band moving very quickly and responding to each other and the music as it develops. "The Angle of Repose" develops through an obtuse improvisation section to a rousing conclusion. This was a very exciting and enjoyable album which is also quite accessible making this a good entry point for people who are curious about free improvisation. The Nu Band - Live in Paris - No Business Records.

Send comments to Tim.