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Thomas Johansson (NO) – trumpet
Mats Äleklint (SE) – trombone
Kristoffer Alberts (NO) – tenor and alto saxophone
Julie Kjær (DK) – alto saxophone and flute
Klaus Holm (NO) – alto and baritone saxophone
Per Åke Holmlander (SE) – tuba
Kalle Moberg (NO) – accordion
Ketil Gutvik (NO) – electric guitar
Tommi Keranen (FIN) – electronics
Jon Rune Strøm (NO) – double and electric bass
Christian Meaas Svendsen (NO) – double and electric bass
Andreas Wildhagen (NO) – drums & percussion
Paal Nilssen-Love (NO) – drums & percussion
Christian Obermayer (NO) – sound design
Paal Nilssen-Love has been one of the world’s most prolific and active musicians that came out of Norway for the last 20 years. With thousands of gigs and hundreds of recordings the drummer is known for bands like The Thing, Ballister, Hairy Bones, Chicago Tentet, and Original Silence, as well as collaborations with musicians like Arto Lindsay, Otomo Yoshihide, Akira Sakata, Ken Vandermark, Jim O’Rourke, Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore and many others.
In 2013 Nilssen-Love decided it was time to start his own big band ensemble. Consisting of 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 also fortunate to include members from the other Nordic countries; Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In other words, Nordic music as it´s best!
Large Unit burst into life at the Molde Jazzfestival July 2013 and has since then toured Norway and played festivals all over Europe. A small taste of what to expect came with the two-track EP ”First Blow”, but during autumn 2014, Large Unit unleashed its full load with the massive debut album called ”Erta Ale” – which was released in four different formats totalling more than two hours worth of new music. Large Unit was expanded to 14 members (including two Brazilian percussionists) in August 2015 and recorded live and studio which resulted in the CD named “ANA”. The album combines Brazilian rhythms, free blowing and big band riffing in a highly successful way. Nilssen-Love had a new book of tunes for their European fall-tour of 2015 and these were recorded successfully in the spring of 2016 and appear on the latest album titled “Fluku”. The band was also expanded to include 20 music students from Oslo in connection with Ny Musikk, Oslo´s festival Only Connect. This concert, which is a live recording of the commissioned piece “More Fun, Please!” will be released spring of 2018.
Large Unit´s music is all compositions 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 groups is of course a treat in itself when in full blast. Traces of Nilssen-Love´s experience from groups like Peter Brötzmann Chicago tentet, Ken Vandermark´s Territory band and Frode Gjerstad´s Circulasione Totale Orchestra are of course evident. There is no doubt that Nilssen-Love has taken inspiration from his years in these bands but still with the aim to create a new group with a sound of it´s own.