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February 23, 2007

Nublu Orchestra – Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris

Filed under: Hype,Music — Cy @ 1:20 pm

[Nublu Records; 2007]

Contemporary jazz is an area I feel that many jazz listeners plan on getting around to sometime, but just never really do. This is probably due in part to the absolutely astronomical amount of quality jazz released during the late 50s and 60s, and due also to contemporary’s lack of a solid canon from which to begin exploration. I’m sure music nerds pick up a couple of the more highlighted releases each year (like Coleman’s Sound Grammar of ’06), but not much intensive exploration is done in the genre. I’m no exception to this.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris. Think Herbie Hancock combined with Squarepusher’s more jazzy songs and the serenity of cool jazz (along with vocals and some healthy avant sections), and you get Nublu. Yes, electo-funk-avant-jazz. Normally I’d think such an album would be trying to achieve too much, overreaching genre boundaries, but somehow this one pulls it off with ease.

Electronic blurbs furnish songs with funky guitars and bass, soulful female vocals and complex yet relaxed percussion. Winding sax and trumpet lines wisp about all around, keeping things interesting and providing effective melodic centerpoints which build on the groovy beats and bass. Many of the songs manage to sound both catchy and unorthodox in form at the same time, making for an album that can be enjoyed both casually and intensively. You can be sure that when I throw a party for jazz-heads, this album’ll be in rotation at some point during the night.

Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris is a versatile, well-crafted and refreshing release in a musical age where jazz has largely taken a quiet backseat to today’s more popular music. The album has a rejuvenating effect on me, similar to that of Pharaoh Sanders’ Karma (which I also highly recommend), and it shows that jazz still has some neat tricks up its sleeves. Nublu Orchestra is definitely my current favorite release of the year.

1 Comment »

  1. this is a great album!
    looking for NEW jazz, electronica, outerplanetary sh*t?
    grab this

    Comment by ciclo — February 28, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

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