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Nublu Orchestra: Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris

The most fascinating thing about Butch Morris’ “conduction”-his spontaneous composition method using coded hand gestures-is not the system itself, but its boundless adaptability. Ideally suited for free-jazz instrumentalists, conduction can be just as compelling in a spoken-word context. Morris, for instance, has given performances with actors reading random fragments of text. The raw materials, in other words, are almost incidental; the result is always sound beyond style.

Stop into the club Nublu, deep in New York’s East Village, and you’re likely to see Morris socializing, listening to cutting-edge DJs and soaking in the new. It stands to reason that he would employ these sounds in his own work. Enter the Nublu Orchestra, with personnel drawn from the multifarious bands that play (or use to play) the club: Wax Poetic, Brazilian Girls, Kudu and more. Eddie Henderson, Graham Haynes, Kenny Wollesen and Doug Wieselman join the party as well. The players are listed on the back cover, but their instruments are left unspecified, as if to underline the collectivist nature of the project.

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