168

NOJO (The Neufeld / Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra: You Are Here

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
NOJO (Canada’s Neufeld / Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra) is back with its second engaging album of unclassifiable music, this time with poll–winning guest clarinetist / bass clarinetist Don Byron on hand to add his elliptical commentary. Whereas many undernourished ensembles exert every effort to sound larger than they are, NOJO’s seventeen members seem to go out of their way to emulate a much smaller group, seldom sounding like there are more than nine or ten sidemen playing at any one time. And while the over–all conception is ultramodern (some would say avant–garde), the music wouldn’t sound the least out of place in New Orleans; it is that well–grounded in Jazz tradition. In fact, the temperament is at times reminiscent of the Crescent City’s whimsical Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Byron, who adapts easily to any musical habitat, is comfortably at home in the ensemble or soloing (as he does on nine of the thirteen selections, all but the last — “Mainland” — on clarinet, that one on bass clarinet). Other featured soloists include co–leaders Michael Occhipinti (guitar) and Paul Neufeld (keyboards), tenor Perry White (“Ratted Out,” “In Memoria”), trombonist Don Laws (“Three Forks,” “Exhaust”), trumpeters Kevin Turcotte (“Days Like Grass,” “Exhaust”) and Lina Allemano (“In Memoria,” “Luminiscent”), bassist Rob Clutton (“Luminescent”), soprano Ernie Tollar and trumpeter Sandy Barter (“Road Hog”). Byron is showcased on “Hum Tag” and “Salmon Snacks.” Six of the largely unorthodox compositions are by Neufeld, the others by Occhipinti (including the three–movement “Animal Farm,” the first movement of which, “Gaggle,” uses instrumental contrivances to imitate the animals themselves). Byron shows consistently why he is so highly regarded by Jazz fans and critics alike, while NOJO shows it is an orchestra to be reckoned with in the widening arena of “new Jazz.” Yes, it’s an acquired taste, but not so uncommonly removed from Jazz’s mainstream that one may become irredeemably lost.

Track listing: Grassfire; Three Forks; Days Like Grass; Animal Farm (Gaggle, Ratted Out, Hum Tag); Luminiscent, for I.K.; Salmon Snacks; Zawashorius; Exhaust; In Memoria; Road Hog; Mainland (77:08).

Personnel:

Don Byron, guest soloist, clarinet, bass clarinet; Ernie Tollar, alto, soprano sax, flute; Dan Bone, alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute; Sean O

| Record Label: KOCH International Jazz | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Ever Up & Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Ever Up & Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Fulfillment" CD/LP/Track Review Fulfillment
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Ullr" CD/LP/Track Review Ullr
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by John Sharpe
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!