Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

The Nu Band: Live

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

This is a solid if ever so slightly disappointing album by a quartet of top-of-the-line New York-based free jazzers: Mark Whitecage, saxes and clarinet; Roy Campbell, Jr., trumpet and flugelhorn; Joe Fonda, bass; and Lou Grassi, drums. While graced with the sort of exalted creativity and professionalism one would expect, the project is compromised by a less-than-optimal recording quality as well as a lack of direction that often typifies the music of cooperative jazz bands. The album was recorded live, probably using a stereo mike connected to a DAT machine or some other portable device. The mike picks up too much of the room, resulting in a distant, overly reverberant sound. Grassi is particularly ill-served. No free jazz drummer makes more creative use of his kit’s low end. The boomy recorded sound obscures the crispness of his tom-tom work, robbing his playing of its characteristic clarity.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.