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Large Unit Ethiobraz

Various |

Show has been postponed. New date TBA.

Large Unit manifests as an intense powerhouse force on stage, but also veers into more subtle and textural passages. The group is also fortunate to include members from the other Nordic countries; Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Large Unit burst into life at Molde Jazzfestival July 2013 and has since then toured Europe, Ethiopia, Brazil, Japan and USA. All Large Unit's compositions are written by Nilssen-Love, but the musicians are always given great freedom to contribute their own flavours to the music. The band is stripped down to single players, duos etc., and at times split into several groups. The power of the whole group is of course a treat in itself when in full blast. Nilssen-Love has taken inspiration from his years in groups like Peter Brötzmann Chicago tentet, Ken Vandermark ́s Territory band and FrodeGjerstad ́s Circulasione Totale Orchestra. Traces from this experience are evident, but still with the aim to create a new group with a sound of it's own. At Molde jazzfest 2018 Large Unit was extended to 21 persons, adding musicians from Brazil and from the Ethiopian band Fendika. Today 23 musicians on stage icluding Terrie EX (The EX).

They first got together at Molde Jazz Festival in 2018. Joining them as a special guest was guitarist Terrie Ex, who, with his long involvement with the Ethiopian music scene, played a key role in making the meeting happen.

In fact, Paal Nilssen-Love’s first visit to Ethiopia in December 2009 was with Terrie and The Ex. This changed his life. Another enduring influence on his (musical) life was his first journey to Brazil in June 2013. During numerous trips to these two countries, Paal established many contacts with musicians, dancers, presenters, clubs and schools.

The music he created for Large Unit, which was established right after his first trip to Brazil in 2013, was heavily informed by these travels and meetings. The fusion of these influences with the Scandinavian free music sensibility is an important component of Large Unit’s sound.

Large Unit’s fifth anniversary was the right time to bring all these sources together and celebrate not just the band, but also the collaborations with musicians and dancers from both Ethiopia and Brazil. Thus Ethiobraz was formed, with 22 musicians and dancers together on stage. It has produced the most accessible music in the Large Unit catalogue, and there is no doubt that hearing them live will make you want to get up and dance! The concert in Molde resulted in an album, which was released in December 2019 (PNL049)

Paal Nilssen-Love is one of the most sought after and prolific musicians around. He is known from bands like The Thing, Ballister, Hairy Bones, Chicago Tentet and Original Silence, as well as collaborations with such musicians as Arto Lindsay, Otomo Yoshihide, Akira Sakata, Ken Vandermark, Jim O’Rourke, Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore and many others. In 2013 he decided it was time to start his own big band ensemble, and Large Unit came into being. Comprising mostly younger Norwegian musicians, Large Unit manifests as an intense powerhouse force on stage, but also veers into more subtle and textural passages. The group is fortunate to include members from the other Nordic countries; Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In other words: Nordic music at it’s best!

Large Unit burst into life at Molde Jazzfestival July 2013 and has since then toured Europe, Ethiopia, Brazil, Japan and USA. 

All Large Unit’s compositions are written by Nilssen-Love, but the musicians are always given great freedom to contribute their own flavours to the music. The band is stripped down to single players, duos etc., and at times split into several groups. Of course the power of the whole group when in full blast is a real treat! 

Nilssen-Love has taken inspiration from his years in groups like Peter Brötzmann Chicago tentet, Ken Vandermark ́s Territory band and FrodeGjerstad ́s Circulasione Totale Orchestra. Traces from this experience are evident, but it’s clear this is a new group with a sound of its own.

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