Back in the days of '94 a group of musicians came across an empty club in Amsterdam and were given four weeks to fill it. Three weeks later the place was packed and the rest as they say is history. 'Big Mondays' as they became called are still in existence at Amsterdam's now legendary Sugar Factory and so of course are the band. It is difficult to pigeonhole the music of NCC mixing as it does jazz grooves with afro and latin beats and the added dimension of something that is always so completely off the wall. But it is that wide range that makes them so unique.
Of one thing you can be sure: There is no current band around that provides you with that feel good dance party atmosphere like New Cool Collective. Already out in the Netherlands this album is a superb example of their live work with the 19 piece band recorded at five sold out performances earlier this year. From the eclectic humourous opener of the 'Enter the Dragon' theme the band are totally tight and funky. ' Tramp Stamp' continues the frantic pace with a latin fever that does not let go. There are fewer better sounds that a horn section blowing at full steam unless of course you mix it with a percussive undercurrent and this track serves up both.
The recent african influences of the great Tony Allen and the band's visit to the area can be heard throughout. No more so in one of the album's best tracks, 'Komo Felle' which features Ali Boulo Santo on Kora and vocals.Intricate african rhythms mix with a funkiness that can only be achieved by top quality musicians playing at the height of their prowess. Mention must be made of the band's leader saxophonist, Benjamin Herman, guitarist Anton Goudsmit,keyboardist/arranger Willem Friede and drummer Joost Kroon who hold the band together and yet are able to dazzle literally with their solo work. It is however the ensemble work that is so pleasing on the ear throughout no more so than on the concluding track 'E-Pro' which allows the aforementioned Goudsmit the space to explode before bringing everything back to base. Though they recently played at the famed Jazz Cafe in London to a sell out crowd they are just as likely to turn up and play to 30 people and still perform in the same way. I know I was once one of those 30!!
The New Cool Collective are a one-off just check them out to see what I mean, you will not be disappointed.