The Nu Band


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The main strength to the Nu Band is the very alert and close communication between the four musicians. Each player contributed at least one piece to this set, but in reality all four are co-composers of each number for the emphasis is on their spontaneous improvisations. Rather than just being a blowout, the Nu Band pays close attention to dynamics, subtlety, and mood changes, without ignoring the joy of creating new melodies and rhythms. "Ballad of 9-11" and "Prayer, Contemplation and Meditation" are fairly free ballads while "Like a Spring Day" and "End Piece" have more fireworks. "Four of Them" is a protest against the Bush administration's policy and war in Iraq, consisting of a brief talk, some verbal interplay, ferocious free-form playing, and a bit of chanting/talking. Although obviously sincere, it does not grow in interest with each listen, but the other four selections do. Even during their most heated moments, the musicians listen closely to each other and tend to be lyrical and thoughtful, making this an intriguing set by an important group.

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