The Nu Band: The Dope and The Ghost: Live in Vienna (2007)
This quartet outing highlights the integration of hyper-mode phrasings, torrid exchanges and judicious placement of melodically-tinged themes. They fuse a sweetener into the mix, and it all pans out rather effectively. But trumpeter Roy Campbell, Jr.'s abysmally off-key vocals at the onset of "Where Has My Father Gone?, segues into a wailing cutting session with saxophonist Mark Whitecage and drummer Lou Grassi's relentless polyrhythmic attack. Here, the band morphs angstperhaps the political elementwith a jubilant melody line that generates a sonorous touch amid the musicians' fiery exchanges. Then, on the finale, "Next Step, the ensemble, featuring guest artist/alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi, executes a stewing framework, accelerated by rambunctious cat-and-mouse dialogues via a frenetic gait. However, they tone the proceedings down a bit for the coda.
Putting a few beefs aside, the instrumentalists' stylistic mode of operation and intuitive interplay cannot be understated. These seasoned modern jazz warriors exalt a hodgepodge of emotively-charged and revved-up undercurrents that yield the winning edge.
Track Listing: BushWacked; Where Has My Father Gone?; The Dope and The Ghost; Next Step.
Personnel: Roy Campbell Jr: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals; Mark Whitecage: alto sax, clarinet, newspeak; Joe Fonda: bass; Lou Grassi: drums, percussion. Guest: Marco Eneidi: alto sax (4).
Record Label: Not Two Records
Style: Modern Jazz