Nublu Orchestra Nublu Orchestra Conducted By Butch Morris

Nublu has released some mightily ambitious work this year but this one tops them all. Saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin has assembled a dozen and a half members to transmute the instructions of Lawrence "Butch” Morris. A veteran theorist, cornetist and conductor, Morris is known for marshalling large ensembles to create great sweeps of collective sound, not unlike Sun Ra. Being Nublu, this particular ensemble represents both funk and electronics within its concept of freedom. Notable players include Eddie Henderson, Graham Haynes and members of Forro In The Dark and Brazilian Girls. Most of the songs have a strong pulse to them, if not outright dance-ability, but the devil is in the details of the spontaneous duets and trios, which turn away from the beat to talk amongst themselves. "L.E.S. Gardens” is a perfect example, with a repeated drum motif that sounds like it’s going to explode into big band funk. But when the crescendo happens two thirds of the way through, it’s with asymmetrical saxophones and a non-linear bass line that only last a minute or so before dissolving again. Voices are also dropped in and out of the mix, sometimes more successfully than others. Nublu’s ever-growing ambition once again produces a thought-provoking and well-realised experiment. (Independent)