Live At Wetlands-Preserve NYC

review = B+

Referring to Ulu’s music as acid soaked, post-fusion jazz is too narrow a description, but it’s a good start. Throw in a little funk, some deep space, and plenty of wide angle dynamics - now you’ve got -jamjazz-. That’s Ulu. Over the past few years, the New York City quintet’s broadband of classy sonic projections have been attracting a diverse fanbase ranging from traditional jazz hounds to bright eyed tie-dyed groovemiesters born well after fusion supergroups Return to Forever and Weather Report first took electric jazz to new frontiers. And there’s definitely some of that ‘new class of the old school’ spirit here. Plenty of originality too - very creative interactions among the electric piano, flute/sax, bass, drums, and guitar. Part of Ulu’s success is simply avoiding the mistakes made by other modern day instrumental groove boppers. There’s no brain dead smooth jazz, or passionless, ego stoked chop cutting exhibitions in their repertoire. In fact, there are few if any musical clichés here at all. Recorded in front of a hometown crowd, Live At Wetlands-Preserve NYC, captures Ulu at their best - reflecting their audience’s energy with an inspired set of exceptionally articulate musical conversations.

Released on the Phoenix Presents label, this CD only available online at http://www.radiophoenix.com.