294

Nomo: New Tones

Judith Insell By

Sign in to view read count
Nomo: New Tones The Detroit-based NOMO begins New Tones with the sound of the electric kalimba, leading the listener to believe that they are in for an adventurous musical experience, but as the disc progresses, it takes on the feel of an endless dance track.

To composer/arranger Elliot Bergman's credit, he incorporates electric saw blade, gamelan, farfisa organ, nu-tone cymbals, canister and various other percussion instruments into the music, but the sounds are not really used to create new soundscapes, instead just adding to the grooves. Elements of improvisation are overtaken by these grooves, many times buried in the thick background figures of the brass. New Tones offers up quality dance club grooves, but not much for the free jazz listener looking for the Afro-beat-influenced Sun Ra style to which the band alludes.

The standout songs—"Fourth Ward, with an interesting Brazilian-based feel; and "One to One, with a funky style a la James Brown—are both layered with multiple Afro-beats. Also worthy of mention is "New Song, which contains a hand-clapping section underneath a trumpet solo. As the song progresses, the instruments re-enter in small groupings. This simplified orchestration helps set up a spirited solo by baritone saxophonist Dan Bennett.

NOMO's performance at Joe's Pub last month was a bit more interesting, but it made it even more evident that the tunes are better suited for a dance club atmosphere. Had a dance floor been provided, possibly the band's performance energy may have been directed in a more musically productive direction.

The remarkable soloists in NOMO's live set were Jamie Register (electric bass) and the aformentioned Dan Bennett. Bennett seemed to have the best sense of how to fit his ideas over the groove, creating some interesting music. Register's solid playing and moments of lead vocals on "If You Want helped to make the live performance a more creative event. The material, live or recorded, seems to need more than a "hook groove." New Tones could have presented more interesting materials with a lead singer or more improvisational space for the band—and much less focus on the groove elements.


Track Listing: Nu Tones; Hand and Mouth; Fourth Ward; Reasons; New Song; Divisions; We Do We Go; One to One; If You Want; Book of Right On; Sarvodaya.

Personnel: Dan Bennett: saxophones; Elliot Bergman: clarinet, keyboards; saxophones; electric kalimba; Natalie Bergman: vocals; Susan Bergman: vocals; Vincent Chandler: trombone; Nate Davidson: guitars; Warn Defever: bass; Erik Hall: percussion, guitar; Chilali Hugo: harp; G. Scott Jones: trombone; Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, piccolo; Dean McKinney Moore: saxophone; Dan Piccolo: drums, bells; Olman Piedra: congas, percussion; Jamie Register: bass, vocals, percussion; Steve Rush: farfisa organ; Justin Walter: trumpet, bells, log drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ubiquity Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Way You Say It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Say It
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 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!