N∆BOU | You Know Review
by Icrom Bigrad
N∆BOU is a Belgian jazz ensemble comprised of trombone, electric guitar, double bass, and drums. The ensemble is led by trombonist and composer Nabou Claerhout. Claerhout’s compositions focus on creating atmospheric and melancholic. Her debut EP, Hubert, was nominated for the Sabam For Culture’ Jazz Composer 2019′ prize and was already a fine demonstration of the ensemble’s unique sound. N∆BOU is now releasing their debut album called, You Know Claerhout is supported by groovy bass riffs from Trui Amerlinck, Mathias Vercammen’s elaborate drum patterns, and the modern, virtuoso guitar playing of Roeland Celis.
“Black Light” has a steady bass pulse that Claerhout and Celis create haunting sounds over as Vercammen’s drum colors build. The music is strongly rhythmically based and conversational in nature. The central theme is easy to follow through the various colors and embellishments. Amerlinck’s bass solo begins as searching and methodical. Celis’s solo is supported by Claerhout’s countermelodies. Celis’s playing shows dexterity and is hued the same as the theme. Claerhout uses electronic effects to augment her trombone sound, giving the music a new dimension and feel. An attractive modern approach to jazz combined with rock, pop, and fusion.
“You Know” keeps the musical adventure moving forward with an exciting composition that finds Claerhout’s trombone leading the way as Celis provides colorful voicings. Celis’ solo is filled with swift figures mainly focused on shapes and building waves of sound. The repetitive melody is the backdrop for Cercammen’s drum solo, followed by Claerhout’s classy manipulation of motifs with her warm trombone sound. This form is more traditional in nature and follows the slightly romanticized pattern of a jazz standard but in a fresh and cutting-edge manner.
N∆BOU is an ensemble that combines European jazz, Americana jazz, and modal jazz with today’s modern musical sounds. The album creates a transcendental mood and is a stunning offering from a brilliant composer and bandleader just starting her jazz journey and You Know shows she is fated to have much to offer the jazz community.