Adam Nolan: Prim and Primal


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Adam Nolan: Prim and Primal
Whether stalking the perimeters or cutting to the bone, Irish alto saxophonist Adam Nolan's full throated assault on alternative facts takes you by storm on his fourth (and hopefully breakthrough) disc, Prim and Primal.

Like Ornette Coleman, like Anthony Braxton, Nolan and his fellow non-shy improvisors—bassist Derek Whyte and drummer Dominic Mullan—keep the music stark. Impassioned. Jabbing darkly, waxing in and out of time and shadow. Animated. Keening.

Upon their maiden voyage, Nolan, Whyte, and Mullan barter, argue, and come to terms amongst themselves with a chugging, immediate punk honesty. "Expand the Tempo" expands the head real nice as its straight-up free bop hails and scrapes. Nolan's lone alto at the start of "The Modern Jazz Trio" heightens the spontaneous conversation with an excited cry, only to find that bassist and drummer have their own specific view of how this one goes so it's every man for himself.

"Latin Jazz?" is Prim and Primal's cool decoy. Mellower then its predecessors, the tune might spark a time honored conga line but it soon goes off the rails and hearing the trio navigate the piece's wildcard turns is a rare delight. As if recorded in a room full of fun house mirrors, "Ancient Mayan Jungle" is anyone's guess, but the band has the answer. Ditto the unbound logic of both "The Magic Carpet" and "Kung Fu Master vs. The Ape." Prim and Primal is high order stuff.

Track Listing

Expand the Tempo; The Modern Jazz Trio; Latin Jazz?; Ancient Mayan Jungle; The Magic Carpet; Kung Fu Master Vs The Ape (in a smoking area).


Adam Nolan: saxophone; Derek Whyte: bass, electric; Dominic Mullan: drums.

Album information

Title: Prim and Primal | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced

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