The Republic

May 25, 2006

Do you realize how sweet it sounds to hear four horns simultaneously play the same melody? It's a powerful thing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the NOMO concert at The Republic Thursday night. NOMO is an eight-piece(two saxes, two trumpets, keyboard, guitar, drums, percussion, bass) band from Michigan that combines elements of soul, avant jazz, afrobeat, and funk. Especially the JB's.

The concert started with an avant sax freakout. The two saxes did their furious and supposedly non-sensical thing before the whole band kicked in together for one of the night's many exercises in polyrhythms. The offbeat hanclaps, the Afrobeat deep tailbone boom, the funk guitar, and the playfulness of a toy synthesizer.

The material could get dark, but the music was mostly dance fare. Deep soul groove dancing. Ther stuff that hits you in your chest and connects your body with Africa. For a second.

The instrumental group seemed to confuse the indie crowd, at first. But, eventually, more and more people clapped and cheered for the group. They even moved closer to the stage when the saxophonist asked them to.

NOMO's members took solos here and there. Most of the music, though, was intricately weaved. Booty grooves for your spirit.

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