1996 – 2004 (8 years)
- Aaron Gardner
1) ulu (project ulu) is a Japanese doujin music circle.
2) The instrumental intoxication of ulu will keep your mind in limbo and your feet in motion. This NYC quartet strives for the balance between intelligent composition and spontaneous improvisation with roots in funk and jazz. Their unique approach to creating sound redefines itself on a nightly basis and intrigues audiences nationwide.
ulu's fan-base is rapidly increasing due to a strong internet presence, national press and high-exposure touring. In their young history, ulu has shared the stage with such musical heavyweights as: John Scofield, The Mickey Hart Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Derek Trucks, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Moe., Soulive, The Jazz Mandolin Project, De La Soul, The Greyboy All-Stars and Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers. ulu was one of the few improvisational bands to be invited to the 2002 south by southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, and was the only instrumental act to appear at Woodstock '99.
The band, made up of Scott Chasolen (Rhodes, clavinet, organ and Moog), Aaron Gardner (tenor sax and flute), Russ Kleiner (drums) and Brian Killeen (bass) has recorded four albums. Their latest effort, entitled "Nerve," is a studio recording released by Harmonized Records. The album showcases a vast array of fresh material focusing on well-crafted arrangements and creative elaboration. The ulu sound remains rooted in the foundation of slick grooves and instrumental intensity, and evolution has brought the band to an all time high. “Nerve” explores some new territory, including gospel and spoken word, but there is still more than a fair share of electrifying, rump-thumping tunes.
ulu's last album, a live recording for Catapult Records entitled, "What's the Deal" captures the band in its truest form, showing their distinctive chemistry which invigorates audiences into late nights of intoxicating frolic on the dance floor. "What's the Deal" was awarded Live Album of the Year by the Home Grown Music Network in 2001.
ulu's self-titled, home-recorded debut album came out in 1998 and has generated substantial performing rights royalties by being played on ABC's "World News This Morning," MTV's "The Real World" and "Road Rules," and TNT's "NBA Basketball Playoffs."
ulu's second album, "Live at the Wetlands" on Phoenix Presents Records, captured a special night in downtown Manhattan in late 1999. This high energy, emotional performance is no longer available.
Praised by Relix magazine: "ulu is one of the most talented instrumental bands on the planet, and keep getting better each time it plays." Heralded by MTV: "ulu is fast becoming New York's favorite funk ensemble;" applauded by the Chicago Reader "this New York based quartet revitalizes the idea of a modern jamband - a term so frequently misapplied that it has become an insult - by actually knowing how to jam and better yet how to say something with its muralistic music;" and praised by Atlanta's Creative Loafing; "ulu's instrumental prowess is exemplary and they know how to hold down a solid funky backbeat."
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