387

Nu Band: Lower East Side Blues

By

Sign in to view read count
Nu Band: Lower East Side Blues 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.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Porter Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Duncan Heining
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Etchings in Amber" CD/LP/Track Review Etchings in Amber
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "King of the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review King of the Blues
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: November 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!