387

Nu Band: Lower East Side Blues

By

Sign in to view read count
To those who thought The Nu Band was a one-shot group, witness Lower East Side Blues, its fourth album since 2003 and first recorded in a studio. With such busy schedules it seemed as if four musicians of this caliber—trumpeter Roy Campbell, alto saxophonist/ clarinetist Mark Whitecage, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Lou Grassi—couldn't stay together very long. That they now have several international tours behind them and have a burgeoning discography is an indication of their level of commitment.

They run the band like a co-operative with each member contributing compositions. These are well chosen and tend to play to the strengths of the individuals, even if they weren't originally written specifically for the group. Campbell's title track opens the proceedings with a smartly bopping head, kept afloat by Grassi with an Ed Blackwell-like buoyancy that allows Campbell and Whitecage to fly over the changes with ease. The Fonda composition "In A Whitecage" highlights its dedicatee's clarinet work, it's matched beautifully by Campbell's smoky muted trumpet. Incidentally, Campbell uses the mute extensively on this disc and to great advantage. Whitecage's "Connecticut Solution" emphasizes the entire group with its closely harmonized mysterioso theme and lopsided 5/4 gait. Grassi's "Avanti Galoppi" chugs along on Fonda's ostinato pattern and demonstrates his driving contributions to the band. Having the horns play the theme in half-time over the double-time of the rhythm section creates a nice tension.

The Nu Band sounds like four musicians who genuinely enjoy playing together. And Lower East Side Blues has all of the heat, drama and high-quality improvising that makes a jazz recording worth hearing.

Track Listing: Lower Eastside Blues; In A Whitecage - The Path; Connecticut Solution; The Last Of The Beboppers; Heavenly Ascending; Avanti Galoppi; Like Sonny.

Personnel: Roy Campbell Jr.: trumpet; Mark Whitecage: alto saxophone, clarinet; Joe Fonda: bass; Lou Grassi: drums.

Title: Lower East Side Blues | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Porter Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Profiles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live In Geneva

Live In Geneva

Not Two Records
2017

buy
Trio 3D

Trio 3D

Konnex Records
2013

buy
Lower East Side Blues

Lower East Side Blues

Porter Records
2009

buy
 

Memphis

Playscape Recordings
2009

buy
A Drop Of Water

A Drop Of Water

Konnex Records
2008

buy
 

Loaded Basses

CIMP Records
2007

buy

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019