Monday, December 17, 2012

The Nu Band, Relentlessness, Live at the Sunset, Roy Campbell, Mark Whitecage, Joe Fonda, Lou Grassi

When a very good band in the improvisatory arts achieves a certain comfort level playing together, in some cases that may take years, the music they produce when they are on the mark can be both very together collectively, and individually on a very high level.

That was certainly the case with the Nu Band when they recorded earlier this year at the Sunset in Paris. The resultant CD Relentlessness (Disques Futura et Marge 49) bears this out quite nicely.

For it has a great group dynamic going, loosely swings and speaks poetically and coherently, and gives you some of the best playing of Roy Campbell, Jr., Mark Whitecage, Joe Fonda, and Lou Grassi on record.

There are effective compositions by all the band members, and some sterling improvisations from the trumpet, reeds, contrabass and drums. Each artist is an original stylist of course, and the band has a direct kind of improv immediacy that comes about when all is right. This music, understandably given the players' deep roots in the music and long time immersion in it, is the evolution and extension of the new jazz, the new improv, as it stands today, state-of-the-art.

So naturally I would advise you to hear this one!

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