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Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's Large Unit recorded this ecstatic, Brazilian influenced material in 2015 after a mammoth European and North-American tour, hours after their performance at the 2015 Oslo Jazzfestival with an extended line-up with Brazilian percussion players.

Large Unit

Large Unit: Ana (PNL)

Label: PNL    
Released in: Norway    

"Large Unit is the 11+ piece group led by Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. Since the band's incarnation in 2013 it has gone from strength to strength, with 2015 being a landmark year with a monumental 40+ dates European and North-American tour, on the heel of the acclaimed Erta Ale album from 2014.

Paal Nilssen-Love's connection to Brazil is strong. Throughout his musical career he has been influenced by Brazilian music he'd hear on records, from Luiz Gonzaga and Trio Nordestino to Milton Nascimento and Pedro Santos. In his ears Brazil stood out as a country that shared his ideals of music being a celebration of life - a celebration that should be loud, rhythmic and intense. This Brazilian influence also crept into his own music.

When Nilssen-Love finally got the chance to visit and tour the country in 2013 it was obvious this was not a one-way love-affair - connections were soon made between him and the musicians and audiences of Brazil. Since then he has visited twice ayear. The Brazilian connection found its way into the material he was writing for Large Unit at the time, especially with the half-hour piece "Rio Fun", which incorporated elements of Brazil's Bahia music. The song quickly became the climax of Large Unit's concerts, which peaked with their performance at the Oslo Jazzfestival in August 2015, when the already crowded line-up was extended with Brazilian musicians Celio de Carvalho and Paulinho Bicolor on percussion.

Only hours after the gig ended (to the roar of an ecstatic audience) the band went straight into the legendary Rainbow studios to capture that energy in what is now being released as Large Unit's second full length album: ANA. And rarely has a studio booking been better timed - ANA documents a dynamic band riding high on a frenetic tour schedule - only with the added extra musical vitamin-shot of Bicolor and de Carvalho."-PNL

"Ana, Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit's second full-length album, was recorded just a few hours after the Large Unit's ecstatic performance at the Oslo Jazz Festival on August 2015, while the group still riding high on the adrenalin of the live performance. Ana offers an extended version of the Large Unit, augmented by two Brazilian percussionists, Celio de Carvalho and Paulinho Bicolor, both also played in the live performance and enriched the sonic spectrum of the Large Unit. The three pieces of Ana were tested before many audiences and were recorded before (The EP Rio Fun and the photo book-double Disc 2015, PNL, 2015 and 2016) during the extensive, more than 40 date tours by the Large Unit in Europe and North America, which followed the release of the group debut, Erta Ale (PNL, 2014).

Nilssen-Love explains that he sees in the Brazilian music the same qualities that have characterize his musical activity throughout the years, "a celebration of life - a celebration that should be loud, rhythmic and intense". That kind of festive sound is now more focused than on previous Large Unit recordings, the studio and the live ones, and in the loose structures of Nilssen-Love's compositions. His compositions for this group are open road maps that suggest shifting dynamics, often attempting to push the Large Unit into different, even contrasting, courses simultaneously. But on the recording of Ana, that took place at the famed Rainbow Studio in Oslo, the interplay succeeds in sounding unified yet keeps its urgent and open looseness. It even offers a clear sense of lightness, despite the massive, 14 musicians instrumentation - two drummers, two percussionists, two bass players (playing on acoustic and electric basses), two tuba players, two sax player, trombonist, trumpet player, guitarist, and electronics player.

The Brazilian talking drums, cuica, and the berimbau blend organically with the polyrhythmic drumming of Nilssen-Love and Andreas Wildhagen on the title-piece, dancing and stressing the infectious horns plus brass riff with joyous rhythmic impact that adapts itself naturally even to Tommi Keränen noisy electronics. The center-piece, the 28-minutes "Riofun", is already a climax of many Large Unit performances, now rearranged in a new version that incorporates elements of Brazilian Bahia music. Its carnivalistic spirit integrates many approaches of the Large Unit, from the ocean-deep murmuring of the tubas of Per Åke Holmlander and Børre Mølstad, fast soaring trumpet solo of Thomas Johansson and bluesy sax solo of Klaus Holm, explosive outbursts of the whole group and Brazilian, harmolodic-tinged pulses, all accumulate to an ecstatic swinging celebration. The last piece, "Circle in the Round", matches brilliantly the Brazilian playful rhythms and the inventive interplay and boundless energy of the Large Unit, now with surprising, funny vocal samples, commanding trombone solo of Mats Äleklint, a segment where Julie Kjær's flute playing leads the drummers and percussionists into a dancing march before a peaceful, gentle coda that concludes this great, inspiring celebration."-Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Paal Nilssen-Love
Large Ensembles
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
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Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

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Price: $14.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 7041880993610

Label: PNL
Catalog ID: PNL033
Squidco Product Code: 22039

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: Norway
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Rainbow Studio, in Oslo, Norway on August 4th, 2015 by Christian Obermayer.


Thomas Johansson-trumpet

Mats Aleklint-trombone

Julie Kjaer-alto saxophone, flute

Klaus Holm-alto saxophone, baritone saxophone

Per Ake Holmlander-tuba

Borre Molstad-tuba

Ketil Gutvik-electric guitar

Tommi KerAnen-electronics

Paulinho Bicolor-cuica, triangle, tamborim

Celio de Carvalho-congas, bongos, tamborim, pandeiro, berimbau, caxixi, alfaia

Jon Rune Strom-acoustic bass, electric bass

Christian Meaas Svendsen-acoustic bass, electric bass

Andreas Wildhagen-drums, percussion

Paal Nilssen-Love-drums, percussion

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Track Listing:

1. Ana 13:45

2. Riofun 28:16

3. Circle In The Round 16:53