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BOP ARTS and Bop Shop Records present:
NU BAND – featuring Joe Fonda, Lou Grassi, Mark Whitecage and Thomas Herberer
Sunday, January 14th, 8pm
Bop Shop Records 1460 Monroe Ave. Rochester NY
$15 donation at the door/$10 for students

The Nu Band, now in it’s 17th year, is planning it’s next European tour. The dates are November 6-20, 2017.

News: Our 2016 tour was a great success with 12 concerts in 14 days in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Croatia. “The Cosmological Constant” (Not Two) has gotten great reviews. (below)

New Recordings: The Nu Band “Live In Geneva,” also on Not Two, is due out later this year, and NoBusiness Records is releasing an LP recording “The Nu Band featuring Roy Campbell, Jr. ‘The Final Concert’ ” with selections from the final concert of the final tour we did together. This will be a 300 copy limited pressing LP to be released in November, 2016.

THOMAS HEBERER has performed on 6 continents; was a part-time lecturer at the conservatory Frankfurt/Main (1993-97) and a guest lecturer at the Banff Centre in 2007; served as Germany’s representative with the European Broadcast Union Big Band in 1998; recorded over 50 CDs as a sideman; and has a dozen CDs under his own leadership. The Penguin Guide to Jazz called him “an outstandingly gifted trumpeter,” colleague Dave Douglas “a European master,” and critic Steve Lake “our new trumpet genius.” He was awarded both the SWR-Jazzpreis, and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 1990, and Han Bennink’s Instant Composers Pool (ICP), he won the Down Beat Critics TDWR Poll in 2002, and 2 years later the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik with Aki Takase’s Band.http://www.thomasheberer.com/

MARK WHITECAGE is internationally known as a dynamic, ceaselessly inventive instrumentalist and composer in jazz and new music. Current projects include Solo work as well as his own Duos, Trios, Quartets, and Quintets. He has a number of award-winning recordings on Acoustics, CIMP and GM Recordings, including a series of CDs just released on Acoustics. Since the 1960’s he has performed and recorded with some of the leading artists of our time, including Jeanne Lee, Anthony Braxton, Gunter Hampel, Dominic Duval, Joe McPhee, Steve Swell, Marshall Allen and Saheb Sarbib, in the US, Canada, and Europe. “Whitecage is again magnificent.” – Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz. www.erjn.it/mus/whitecage.htm

JOE FONDA is an accomplished international artist who has performed and recorded as a leader in his own ensembles, most notably The Fonda/Stevens Group, throughout the United States and Europe, and as a sideman with Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Bill and Kenny Barron, Ken McIntyre, Charlie Persip, Lou Donaldson, Leo Smith, Curtis Fuller, Mark Whitecage, Kunle Mwanga, Majeed Greenley, Bobby Naughton and others. “The music of Joe Fonda is part of a living tradition of belief and dedication. Future historians will be surprised at the breadth of Mr. Fonda’s offerings. This is a real virtuoso and composer of the highest order.” – Anthony Braxton joefonda.digitalspace.net

LOU GRASSI is internationally known for his work in both the traditional and the avant-garde jazz worlds. From the 1970’s to the present, Lou has performed and/or recorded with a great variety of outstanding artists, including Marshall Allen, Borah Bergman, Rob Brown, Charles Gayle, Urbie Green, Gunter Hampel, Johnny Hartman, Sheila Jordan, William Parker, Perry Robinson, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai and many others. Lou is the leader of the Lou Grassi PoBand which has released five CDs and received critical acclaim worldwide. “Lou Grassi is one of those few jazz players who is as comfortable with straight ahead bop as he is with ventures into the realm of the totally free and the creativity and energy are boundless.” – Steven A. Loewy All Music Guide To Jazz

The Cosmological Constant

Dedicated To The Memory of Roy Campbell, Jr. Here is a link to The Cosmological Constant. For promo purposes only.


“The Nu Band’s music is characterized by a very open approach to composed themes, which set the scene, and then the band goes on a journey to explore the themes, as you might expect from the genre. They sing, they swing, they dance, they bop, they can holler like the blues, but then they loosen up and go on a wonderful expansion of their own compositions. There are few bands like them, and I must say that Thomas Heberer does a great job here, feeling clearly part of the band, and not just a replacement, penning two compositions for the band, and without trying to emulate Roy Campbell, his sound has never been so soulful or bluesy as on this album.

The music is again phenomenal, a treat for the ears, and again delivered by all four musicians. But so are the compositions: the slow “Dark Dawn In Aurora” sounds like instant standard, the long “Time Table” is more abstract in nature and “5 O’Clock Follies” is a joyful swinging piece. And that’s the great thing about this band, they play jazz, in all its varieties and subgenres and blend it into one coherent and highly enjoyable whole.” Stef Gijssels freejazz- stef.blogspot.com

“As on previous discs, each member contributes to the program, reinforcing the democratic ethos. Happily, another of their main selling points, the propensity for freewheeling interplay, also remains intact. Heberer brings his experience with the Dutch ICP Orchestra to bear in the extemporized exchanges; sometimes, as on the sprightly “Listen To Dr. Cornel West”, his buzzing lines ramp up the excitement levels by seeming to take a parallel course to those of Whitecage, only to converge slyly in a conspiracy of updated New Orleans polyphony. Whitecage cultivates a light airy tone on alto saxophone, sliding between pitches in a mixture of wavering figures and heartfelt cries, heard to strong effect on the grave “Dark Dawn In Aurora”. Fonda imbues his every move with an expressive physicality, exemplified by both an energetic solo and accomplished transition back to the propulsive vamp on his own lengthy “Time Table”. While inevitably, on a session dedicated to Campbell, mournful reflection has its role, equally inevitably, with Grassi and Fonda in the boiler room, it’s complemented by passages of uptempo freebop.” John Sharpe New York City Jazz Record

“. . .I’ve caught this version of the band twice and they were great each time, All members of the quartet contributed songs to this disc. . . solos by Mr. Whitecage on alto sax and Heberer on cornet are burning! The other thing about this quartet that makes them so great is the support and interplay of the rhythm team: Fonda on bass and Grassi on drums sound wonderful, buoyant, uplifting, as one dynamic force. . . the rhythm team accelerate and slow down in a most magical way, like riding tight rapids on a canoe in swift river. You can tell that all of the members of this quartet are veterans since each song sounds well thought out and challenges the abilities of each musician.” Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

“The Nu Band is a significant gathering of contemporary avant jazzmen, an all-star lineup, who dedicate their recent album The Cosmological Constant (Not Two 923-2) to the memory of Roy Campbell . . . who was taken from us so sadly and unexpectedly . . . Nu Band carries on with a fine set of originals and some first-rate avant improvisations . . . These four of course are seasoned masters who show us that their creative powers are anything but diminished with the passage of time.

All four players get equal billing, which fits with the high artistry of each and makes this a cooperative venture in the best sense. Each is an important force, an innovator on his respective instrument(s), and we hear that fully on this set. The solo routines give space to all four players in varying combinations.

Grassi and Fonda, as one might expect, are more than a rhythm section–they are equally articulate melodists with the frontline so that the distinction between the two often enough becomes moot. But when they elect to swing ahead in rhythmic fashion they do so with impact and authority.

Heberer and Whitecage work wonderfully well in tandem as well as via their solo selves. Everybody has an original leg-up on post-bop avant line rendering and as you might expect the hearing is a revelation as well as a solid gas. There are no dull moments to this music. It’s a very fine example of a great band carrying on with subtlety and fire. Roy would have appreciated the tribute.” Grego Edwards Gapplegate Music Review