Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

202

NOMO: Invisible Cities

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
NOMO: Invisible Cities Having started out in clubs around the University of Michigan as an octet (sometimes larger), enchanted by the Afrobeat of Fela (seasoned with a bit of avant jazz), on Ghost Rock (Ubiquity, 2008), NOMO emerged as much more inspired by the clanging junkyard percussion of Congolese Konono No. 1 and German eccentrics such as Can and Kraftwerk than by the work of John Coltrane or Charles Mingus. That was a daring record, simultaneously a natural step in this ambitious collective's evolution and a great leap forward in sonic originality. Invisible Cities serves as a sort of summation, gathering a few tracks that would have fit perfectly on Ghost Rock, a few more easily linked to the band's beginnings and a pair of carefully selected, representative covers.

Invisible Cities visits a lot of territory in its relatively brief 42-minute run time. "Elijah" is a swirling, modal Africa Brass-style freeform overture that precedes "Nocturne," which features NOMO's signature electric kalimba on top of a steady bass line, vocalizing over the drums and a hazy guitar coming out of the shadows. "Waiting" and "Patterns" are classic funk workouts, offering hot soloing and steady rhythmic vamping, while "Crescent" and "Banners on High" turn down the gas and set the mood via soothing flutes and gentle Rhodes keyboards.

The decision to remake Tom Ze's "Ma" comes across as particularly inspired statement of purpose. Ze was at the forefront of Brazil's Tropicalia movement in the late 1960s, but his music quickly became unclassifiable, marked by Afro-Brazilian beats, folk forms, homemade instruments, musical erudition and a general unwillingness to conform. NOMO's cover is faithful to the original, with leader and chief songwriter Elliot Bergman's warm-jet bass clarinet offsetting the sharp plinking of synth noise as the melodic lines of the horn section and dreamy soundscape vocals worm their way into your head.


Track Listing: Invisible Cities; Bumbo; Waiting; Crescent; Patterns; Ma; Banners on High; Elijah; Nocturne.

Personnel: Dan Bennett: baritone sax; Elliot Bergman: synthesizer, bass clarinet, baritone sax, tenor sax, vocals, Fender Rhodes, bamboo flute, electric kalimba; Natalie Bergman: vocals; Warn Defever: percussion, electric kalimba; Joey Dosik: alto sax; Erik Hall: guitar, percussion, conga, tambourine, vocals, kalimba, Fender Rhodes, temple blocks, log drums, electric kalimba; Quin Kirchner: percussion, conga, drums, electric kalimba; Jason Murdy: conga, bells; Dan Piccolo: drums; Ingrid Racine: trumpet; Jamie Register: bass, vocals; Hitoko Sakai: percussion, electric kalimba; Justin Walter: trumpet, vocals.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Ubiquity Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Do Right" CD/LP/Track Review Do Right
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Cosmic Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Adventure
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Julian Hartwell Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Julian Hartwell Project
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 18, 2016
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth
by Doug Collette
Published: August 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!