PNL Records – 4th April 2016
This may be a vehicle for Paal Nilssen-Love, but with an ensemble numbering some 14 musicians, Large Unit is appropriately named. The three pieces, recorded in a single day in August 2015, are long-form constructions, spanning 13, 28 and 17 minutes respectively, and as such, everything about this projects exists on a grand scale, not least of all the sound.
Layer upon layer of percussion provides the backbone over which strolling bass and vast, parping brass booms and squawks which veer wildly between crazed, warped jazz and epic swing. There are tempo-changes galore, and frequently the sound builds into a dizzyingly discordant tumult.
Technically, it’s a work of jazz wizardry, but there are places where it’s rather heavy going.