The Nu Band | Live in Paris | No Buiness Records

The Nu Band | * Roy Campbell, Jr. – trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn, flute * Mark Whitecage – alto sax, clarinet * Joe Fonda – bass * Lou Grassi – drums, percussion

Tracklist: Side A: 1. Bolero Francaise 25‘31“ Side B 1. Avanti Galoppi 12‘50“ 2. The Angle of Repose 11‘44“

NoBusiness Records NBLP23, 2010, limited edition of 300 records * Recorded October 15, 2007 at Atelier Tampon-Ramier, Paris, France * All compositions by Roy Campbell, Jr. (Camroy Music/ASCAP), Mark Whitecage (Rozmark Publishing/BMI), Joe Fonda (GEMA) and Lou Grassi (Elgee Publihing/BMI) except Avanti Galoppi (Lou Grassi/BMI) * Recorded and mixed by Adrian Riffo, Paris, France * Editing by David Shaich, New York, NY * Mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios * Design by Oskaras Anosovas * Produced by Nu Band and Danas Mikailionis * Co-producer – Valerij Anosov

the nu band | live in paris | no buiness records

The release of this, our fifth album, coincides with the tenth anniversary of our first concert together, in Philadephia in 2000. Thanks to all the friends, fans, promoters, and producers who have made it possible for us to continue playing, recording, and touring together all these years. It’s a privilege and pleasure for us and we look forward to sharing the next decade with all of you.

Few bands can carry the sound of “free jazz”

so well as The Nu Band, consisting of Roy Campbell on trumpets and flute, Mark Whitecage on alto and clarinet, Joe Fonda on bass, and Lou Grassi on drums, all four seasoned musicians who demonstrate again what experience can mean in a freely improvised environment. Three tracks are fully improvised, with Lou Grassi’s “Avanti Galoppi” one of the band’s essentials on the playlist, starting with a composed theme and concept. “Somewhere Over The Seine”, is free jazz in its purest nature : implicit rhythms, yet great pulse and drive, with Whitecage and Campbell demonstrating their fabulous skills, soaring, flying, howling, slowing down for Fonda’s solo, when he picks up his bow for some meditative and almost quiet minutes, with Campbell’s muted horn joining the sad weeping, which suddenly becomes more abstract, then Whitecage starts a swinging theme on his sax, and the rest of the band follows suit, joining the mood and rhythm.The second piece, “Bolero Francaise” (sic), is a slow and melancholy piece, not exactly the dance the title refers to, that gradually picks up tempo and volume, leading to the kind of open-ended avalanche of sound, massive and expansive, over the endless rumbling of Grassi’s toms, with Campbell and Whitecage surpassing themselves. “Avanti Galoppi” then, has a high speed bass and drum forward propulsion, as the title suggests, and a great slow theme, worthy of the best in jazz history, that both horn-players slowly start to diverge from and expand on, full of soul and blues and sadness, while the hypnotic galop continues at steady speed, without once changing for the whole thirteen minutes, until the whole thing comes to a grinding halt in the last five seconds. “The Angle Of Repose”, the last track, starts somewhat in free form, searching for its own nature, but gradually Fonda and Campbell give the piece a boppish drive, in a truly terrific duet between trumpet and bass, until the magic erupts when Grassi and Whitecage join, delving up jazz history in the process and making it shine, shine, shine, … and the great thing about this band is that they take themselves not too seriously: fun erupts, some silly interplay, some crazy shouts, a wild drum solo and a grand finale. Wow, I love this band and its great music. –Stef @ free-jazz

nudetail

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. –Tim Niland

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LP version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

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4 thoughts on “The Nu Band | Live in Paris | No Buiness Records

  1. Pour emblème quelques croissants, Live in Paris consigne un concert donné par The Nu Band à Paris (Atelier Tampon Ramier) en octobre 2007.

    Avec mesure, le quartette retourne à son credo : musique hantée par un free jazz antédiluvien entre une danse de Saint-Guy à la vigueur incontestable (Somewhere Over the Seine) et un air que l’on invente sur place et puis répète jusqu’à faire avouer à qui l’entendra qu’il a quelque chose d’inoubliable (Avanti Galoppi). Déjà persuasifs – même lorsqu’ils pêchent par trop de légèreté (première partie de Bolero française) –, Roy Campbell (trompettes, bugle, flûte), Mark Whitecage (saxophone alto, clarinette), Joe Fonda (contrebasse) et Lou Grassi (batterie), réinventent les codes d’un jazz d’emportements alertes et impeccable de cohésion.

  2. An average of one album every other year is pretty good going for a free jazz collective, and that’s what The Nu Band has achieved. Its fifth, Live In Paris, comes ten years after their first communion in 2000. It’s also a departure, not in that it is a concert recording as there are already three of those in the discography, but in that, for the first time, the quartet showcases its considerable talents at instant composition.

    Reedman Mark Whitecage’s résumé numbers two fine, though overlooked, examples on the CIMP label in Consensual Tension (1997) and Research On The Edge (1999), while trumpeter Roy Campbell is a past master of ensemble improvisation, exemplified by his participation in the feted Other Dimensions in Music. Nor are bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Lou Grassi strangers to such unfettered expression. Grassi’s Po band regularly resorts to cooperative genesis, while Fonda has taken his infectious swing and tough tone off the map in his collaborations with Xu Fengxia and even the The Fonda/Stevens Group.

    All this experience is put to astute use, guided by quick ears and an innate sense of what makes satisfying music. Look no further than the lengthy opener, “Somewhere Over the Seine,” for an example. It starts with Whitecage’s acerbic alto saxophone expostulating over a loose-limbed, free groove. Campbell’s bravura trumpet gives way to a series of extemporized unisons between the two horns, a defining characteristic of this foursome. After Fonda’s energetic arco solo, Campbell returns, pinched and mournful, on pocket trumpet, before heading, goosed by the reedman’s alto, into another sprightly dialogue. Finally, a throbbing bass figure signals forward momentum into a playful conclusion.

    The quartet explores some exciting territory on its journey. Although “Bolero Francaise” begins more dreamily, flugelhorn and chuckling alto eventually interweave, Whitecage inciting Campbell to ever greater heights. One of the highlights features the reedman in tandem with Grassi’s rumbling drums, his sinuous lines sliding between pitches, culminating in a sequence of anguish-drenched cries, before trumpet intertwines for an anthemic finish. A compelling rendition of Grassi’s “Avanti Galoppi” is the only chart—its bounding gait with a contrasting elegiac horn line offering an affectionate portrait of the drummer’s sadly missed pet dog.

    Confirmation of The Nu Band’s ability to conjure form from thin air comes on the final “The Angle of Repose.” Whitecage settles on a descending motif, which forms the backbone of a twinkling bounce, with both horn men wailing to a climax, eliciting enthusiastic applause for a set created with passion, and delivered without fuss.

  3. 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.

  4. Few bands can carry the sound of “free jazz” so well as The Nu Band, consisting of Roy Campbell on trumpets and flute, Mark Whitecage on alto and clarinet, Joe Fonda on bass, and Lou Grassi on drums, all four seasoned musicians who demonstrate again what experience can mean in a freely improvised environment.

    Three tracks are fully improvised, with Lou Grassi’s “Avanti Galoppi” one of the band’s essentials on the playlist, starting with a composed theme and concept.

    “Somewhere Over The Seine”, is free jazz in its purest nature : implicit rhythms, yet great pulse and drive, with Whitecage and Campbell demonstrating their fabulous skills, soaring, flying, howling, slowing down for Fonda’s solo, when he picks up his bow for some meditative and almost quiet minutes, with Campbell’s muted horn joining the sad weeping, which suddenly becomes more abstract, then Whitecage starts a swinging theme on his sax, and the rest of the band follows suit, joining the mood and rhythm.

    The second piece, “Bolero Francaise” (sic), is a slow and melancholy piece, not exactly the dance the title refers to, that gradually picks up tempo and volume, leading to the kind of open-ended avalanche of sound, massive and expansive, over the endless rumbling of Grassi’s toms, with Campbell and Whitecage surpassing themselves.

    “Avanti Galoppi” then, has a high speed bass and drum forward propulsion, as the title suggests, and a great slow theme, worthy of the best in jazz history, that both horn-players slowly start to diverge from and expand on, full of soul and blues and sadness, while the hypnotic galop continues at steady speed, without once changing for the whole thirteen minutes, until the whole thing comes to a grinding halt in the last five seconds.

    “The Angle Of Repose”, the last track, starts somewhat in free form, searching for its own nature, but gradually Fonda and Campbell give the piece a boppish drive, in a truly terrific duet between trumpet and bass, until the magic erupts when Grassi and Whitecage join, delving up jazz history in the process and making it shine, shine, shine, … and the great thing about this band is that they take themselves not too seriously: fun erupts, some silly interplay, some crazy shouts, a wild drum solo and a grand finale.

    Wow, I love this band and its great music.

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