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Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe w/ NOMO 

When: Fri., Nov. 6 2009
Price: $18, $16 (adv.)
Though NOMO hails from Ann Arbor, Mich., the group’s sound is born and bred in places like Abeokuta, Nigeria, and Kinshasa, Republic of Congo. They take a big-band jazz approach to the music of West Africa, but they’re no Fela Kuti revivalists. New Tones, their critical break-through album for noted soul and hip-hop label Ubiquity, showed that the band could combine all their influences into a sound all its own. The forward-looking group layers fat blasts of Abdullah Ibrahim-inspired horns and the homemade D.I.Y. amplified electronic sounds of Congo ensemble Konono No. 1 on top of propulsive Afro-beat polyrhythms. Sound complicated? Don’t worry; it’s funky as hell. When the horns threaten to blast off into abstract space, the interlocking bass and drums keep everything grounded in the groove. Along with the always-entertaining Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, which is touring on their new album Brother’s Keeper, this night is a guaranteed good time. —John Edward Royall


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