in the days of '94 a group of musicians came across an
empty club in Amsterdam and were given four weeks to fill
it. Three weeks later the place was packed and the rest as
they say is history. 'Big Mondays' as they became called
are still in existence at Amsterdam's now legendary Sugar
Factory and so of course are the band. It is difficult to
pigeonhole the music of NCC mixing as it does jazz grooves
with afro and latin beats and the added dimension of
something that is always so completely off the wall. But
it is that wide range that makes them so unique. Of one
thing you can be sure there is no current band around that
provides you with that feel good dance party atmosphere
like New Cool Collective.
Already out in the Netherlands this album is a superb
example of their live work with the 19 piece band recorded
at five sold out performances earlier this year. From the
eclectic humourous opener of the 'Enter the Dragon' theme
the band are totally tight and funky.
'Tramp Stamp' continues the frantic pace with a latin
fever that does not let go. There are fewer better sounds
that a horn section blowing at full steam unless of course
you mix it with a percussive undercurrent and this track
serves up both. The recent african influences of the great
Tony Allen and the band's visit to the area can be heard
throughout. No more so in one of the album's best tracks,
'Komo Felle' which features Ali Boulo Santo on Kora and
vocals.Intricate african rhythms mix with a funkiness that
can only be achieved by top quality musicians playing at
the height of their prowess. Mention must be made of the
band's leader saxophonist, Benjamin Herman, guitarist
Anton Goudsmit,keyboardist/arranger Willem Friede and
drummer Joost Kroon who hold the band together and yet are
able to dazzle literally with their solo work.
It is however the ensemble work that is so pleasing on the
ear throughout no more so than on the concluding track
'E-Pro' which allows the aforementioned Goudsmit the space
to explode before bringing everything back to base.
Though they recently played at the famed Jazz Cafe in
London to a sell out crowd they are just as likely to turn
up and play to 30 people and still perform in the same
way. I know I was once one of those 30!!
The New Cool Collective are a one-off just check them out
to see what I mean, you will not be disappointed.