Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
Be prepared to enter into a mélange, a brouhaha of silvery proportions that starts off warm and then begins to bake, before cooling down and then starting to condensate before you. It gets slippery and yet provides an epic ride through parts of the jazz world that involve dynamite players, none of which will ever (might be a stretch) be seen with their shirt tails tucked into their pants. It's street jazz or the kind of jazz that academics do when they're slumming it and actually enjoying themselves a little more than they thought was possible. It's more about the performance for Michigan-Chicago-based band NOMO, a collection of instrumental wizards who know the ways to multiple climaxes and exasperated crescendos. As a band, NOMO glides through its hot-buttered passages and makes them feel as if they were part of a spiced cake that's been dropped on the ground and trampled through, the frosting and the insides banging off the ground with the hoof steps thumps and bumps, almost as if they were dancing. The tensions get battered and strung out as if they were being deprived of oxygen, but before they go purple, they're released and they show their appreciation with further action, the molecules scattering like spilled marbles or mercury, forming the second and third acts of the booming dance. You'll find yourself immediately taken, whisked away on a wild sea change, out, out, out on the salty currents as you're up to your armpits in the oranges of a setting sun and cocktails putting the red in your cheeks. A song like "Waiting" feels like a happy hour that's been completely engaged and is nearly halfway over - which is not to be seen as a disappointing piece of information, but as a sign that everyone's beginning to get properly lubricated and ambitious. There's a bongo-ing rhythm popping off like down-pouring raindrops on the top of a taut canvas roof and the brass sounds are swinging together to make a sweltering romp as if we were all moonlighting as 1970s-era, television police officers in some tanned, boardwalk city on the coast chasing down a mugger on foot, flashing a badge and a pistol in a hurried way and finally tackling the evildoer in the sand right beneath a lifeguard's stand in front of some buxom hotties - all in a day's work. It's a song that doesn't make you feel as if you're waiting around for anything to come to you, but that it's coming to get you if you're ready or not. The same can be said for everything NOMO dishes out.
Nomo Official Site