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.
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
• Show Bio for Thomas Johansson
"Thomas is born and raised in Skien,Telemark. With a bachelor degree from the University of Stavanger, and Masters from The Norwegian Academy of Music, he is a part of the strong young Norweigan jazz elite. He has done extensive touring in Scandinavia, Europe, Japan and USA, with both his own projects and as a sideman in several other bands.
His main project is Cortex, which is a quartet consisting of Thomas, Kristoffer Alberts, Ola Høyer and Gard Nilssen. Cortex is a Norwegian band which plays enerergetic jazz of the finest brand. With over one hundred live perfomances and four highly acclaimed albums, they position themselves as one of the strongest additions to the Norwegian jazz scene.
Thomas is also active in several other projects, such as: All Included, Friends & Neighbors, Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, and Scheen Jazzorkester.
Thomas currently lives in Skien, working as a freelance trumpet player and composer. Thomas has in recent years toured and played at several festivals and clubs at home and abroad, with both his own and others projects. For projects and livedates, check the pages on the menu at the top of the page."-Thomas Johansson Website (http://www.thomasjohansson.no/?page_id=22)
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• Show Bio for Mats Aleklint
"Mats Aleklint is a freelance trombone player, born 1979, that lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
I work mostly in the fields of improvisation and jazz, but also blues, soul, theater music, pop and rock. I have been working as a freelance since the year 2000, and touring in Sweden, Norway, Canada, Slovenia, Portugal, England, Germany, and many other countries. Toured with/Recorded with: Alberto Pinton Quintet, YunKan10, Torbjörn Zetterberg Octet, Norrbotten Big Band, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Dave Holland, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Goran Kajfes Subtropic Arkestra, The Thing XXL, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Brus Trio+2, Big Band Splash, Per-Henrik Wallin, Harmonica Henry, Lisa Ullén Quartet, Blacknuss, Angles, Je Suis!, All Included, LED, and many many others. I also have a band of my own, Mats Äleklint Kvartett."-Mats Aleklint Website (http://www.matsaleklint.com/?page_id=7)
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• Show Bio for Jon Rune Strom
"Strøm grew up on an island in the north-west of Norway. Influenced u. A. By Gary Peacock and Frode Gjerstad , with the first shots were (East of the West, 2011), he plays in the Norwegian free jazz scene with Paal Nilssen-Loves Group Large Unit, Petter Wettre and Mats Gustafsson Nu Ensemble, also with musicians like Mats Äleklint , John Dikeman , Martin Kitchen , Thomas Johansson and Tollef Østvang in formations such as SAKA Trio, Universal Indians, All Included and Friends & Neighbors. 2013, it issued a solo album Jøa.-Wikipedia (translated Google) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Rune_Str¿m)
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• Show Bio for Christian Meaas Svendsen
"Svendsen started his jazz career within Kongsberg Big Band, was a year at Toneheim folkehøgskole and later studied Performing jazz music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. In 2007 he was awarded Kongsberg Jazzfestival's talent scholarship. During the Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 2010, Svendsen referred to as The festival's busiest musician by Laagendalsposten when he performed seven gigs in different constellations during the festival. In 2011 he received Kongsberg Municipality's Cultural Grant. for sitt arbeid med byens tradisjonelle julejam.
Together with his own quintet Mopti he won the 2012 JazzIntro award. After this he has performed among others with the brilliant Japanese pianist and band leader Ayumi Tanaka in the band Nakama with the release Before The Storm (2015) and the exiting Ayumi Tanaka Trio with the release Momento (2016)."-Wikipedia-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Meaas_Svendsen)
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• Show Bio for Andreas Wildhagen
"Andreas Wildhagen was raised in Oslo and attended the Norwegian Academy of Music in 2012, earning his Masters degree in 2014. He is a sought-after jazz drummer and participates on a series of records with bands like like Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, Nakama, Lana Trio, Momentum, Jonas Cambien Trio, and Mopti. He has released a solo drum album in 2016 on the Nakama Records label, No Right No Left"2/25/2017
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• Show Bio for Paal Nilssen-Love
"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.
The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.
Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.
Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.
All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
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Catalog ID: PNL033
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Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Rainbow Studio, in Oslo, Norway on August 4th, 2015 by Christian Obermayer.
Julie Kjaer-alto saxophone, flute
Klaus Holm-alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
Per Ake Holmlander-tuba
Ketil Gutvik-electric guitar
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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1. Ana 13:45
2. Riofun 28:16
3. Circle In The Round 16:53