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NRG Ensemble

Hold That Thought

Label: Corbett Vs. Dempsey

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

In stock

From a night of music in Holland that's become legendary among NRG Ensemble enthusiasts, Hold That Thought presents a blazing concert of the quintet's unique sound. With Mars Williams and Ken Vandermark on reeds, Kent Kessler and Brian Sandstrom on basses (the latter doubling on trumpet and electric guitar), and Steve Hunt on drums, this incarnation of the band was arguably its tightest and mightiest, taking the inspiration of founder Hal Russell (1926-1992) and running with it. All the way. The quirkiness and eccentricity of Russell's vision remained a lasting part of the fabric of NRG, but the level of discipline and craftsmanship achieved by this version of the combo is arguably taken to a whole other level. Working with original material, mostly by Williams and Vandermark, NRG Ensemble had its signature pugilistic feel, with lots of time changes and dynamic shifts, quick starts and hard stops.

Williams certainly knew how to push up the energy/NRG with a strangulated solo or a sudden burst of beautiful melody; all his years in creative music, from time spent as Roscoe Mitchell's copyist to countless weeks on the road kicking ass with the Psychedelic Furs, led him to a core understanding that linked many kinds of noise-making – rock, funk, soul, free jazz, squeaky-bonk improvised music. Those tributaries meet in NRG Ensemble, with his long standing colleagues gathered to joyfully up the ante. Williams chose this beautiful recording as one of three archival tapes he wanted released as soon as possible, and he approached CvsD with the job of shepherding them into the world just before his tragically early death from cancer in November, 2023. 
Cat. number: CvsDCD106
Year: 2024

Mars Williams, reeds and toys
Ken Vandermark, reeds
Brian Sandstrom, bass, electric guitar, trumpet
Kent Kessler, bass
Steve Hunt, drums and percussion

Recorded live in Utrecht in 1996.
Mastered by Dave Zuchowski.
Cover image by Timothy Howe.
Design by David Khan-Girodano.
Produced by Mars Williams

Corbett vs. Dempsey is honored to release three CDs from the archives of Mars Williams. These previously unreleased recordings document diverse parts of Williams' wildly eclectic oeuvre.