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NBTNO

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Reviews of NBTNO

 

25/04/0006 Ian Mann

NBTNO stands for "Never Been To New Orleans" and are a Derby based band led by guitarist Chris Miles.
He was originally joined in the front line by alto saxophonist Pat Shaw, a fellow student at the Clarendon College in Nottingham.
Shaw is now plying his trade in London and appears throughout the 2005 release "When Am I," but only plays on one track on the follow up "Big Cook" which was released in March this year. That track is the cunningly and punningly entitled "Sure Pat."
The rhythm section on both albums is made up of the father and son team of Pete Nightingale (drums) and bassist Mark.
There is much to praise on both these albums. All the material is original with Chris Miles writing most of the tunes on the first album.
"Big Cook" is a more democratic affair with the Nightingales sharing composer credits with Miles on most of the tunes.
The style is contemporary electric jazz without falling into the fusion straitjacket. The melodies are accessible, and the rhythms funky but without becoming clichéd. Shaw’s alto gives something of a David Sanborn feel to the first album.
"Big Cook" gives Miles a chance to stretch out and the rhythm section become more involved. It sounds as if there is more improvisation and musical dialogue on "Big Cook" but I miss Shaw’s contributions as a second front line instrument invariably makes things more interesting for the listener. However, the other three have clearly developed and it is interesting to speculate what would have happened had Shaw remained on board.

I’ve not seen them live but would imagine that they put on a decent show and have a good local following, with these self produced CD’s not doubt becoming a good souvenir of a gig.
I think I prefer the first one for the extra front line voice, but the second has its moments too - especially the closing track showcasing Miles’ acoustic guitar and simply entitled "Acoustic."
There is definite potential here and it will be interesting to see how NBTNO develop in the future.
Although these are self produced "own label" releases they are available through www.jazzcds.co.uk
By Ian Mann

 

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