NOLATET | Featuring MIKE DILLON, BRIAN HAAS
JAMES SINGLETON & JOHNNY VIDACOVICH
Announce New Album 'NO REVENGE NECESSARY'
Out APRIL 27 On ROYAL POTATO FAMILY
First Single & Video "BLACK SHEEP" Premiered At DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
Hear, Watch & Share "BLACK SHEEP" YOU TUBE | SPOTIFY | TIDAL
Nolatet—the New Orleans-based band featuring vibraphonist Mike Dillon, pianist Brian Haas, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich—have announced the release of their second studio album, 'No Revenge Necessary,' due April 27 via Royal Potato Family. The first single and video from the recording, "Black Sheep," was premiered by DownBeat Magazine and is available now at streaming services, including Spotify and Tidal.
While everybody knows about New Orleans' rich musical tradition, an even more deeply rooted tradition in the Crescent City is one of perpetual reinvention. It's a city that's been reborn countless times over the course of its multi-cultural history, a legacy vibrantly reflected in its music. This is exactly what the four longtime friends and frequent collaborators who comprise Nolatet hope to achieve together. They each bring varied musical experiences and influences to the table.
Mike Dillon fronts his own hard touring Mike Dillon Band, while also performing nationally with Rickie Lee Jones. He's been a member of Les Claypool's Frog Brigade, Garage A Trois and Critters Buggin. Brian Haas founded the acclaimed experimental jazz trio Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and most recently released two acclaimed duo recordings with drummer Matt Chamberlain. James Singleton and Johnny Vidacovich are among the most legendary rhythm sections in New Orleans' history having supported artists like James Booker and Professor Longhair, as well as their own ensemble, Astral Project. With the release of their debut album, 'Dogs,' in 2016, the quartet demonstrated how they could add their own twist to the New Orleans' sound. Now the quartet returns with their much-anticipated follow-up, which takes the music through as many winding turns and colorful pathways as a Second Line parade.
'Dogs' was beginner's luck," says Singleton. "We had just started as a band, and we managed to somehow pull together a cohesive program. To me that small miracle was a good omen for the future."
That omen proves true in myriad ways on 'No Revenge Necessary,'which finds the band getting alternately (and often simultaneously) funky and ferocious, playful and profound, high-spirited and movingly solemn, irreverent, iconoclastic, and tapped into the bloodline that flows through the veins of every New Orleans musician.
After criss-crossing the country together touring behind 'Dogs,' Haas says, "we can take bigger musical risks in the studio and not fall on our butts. The more you play improvised music with the same line-up the luckier you can get as a band. This new album is WAY rowdier and riskier." As Dillon adds, "a year of touring and festivals has made this band of unique improvisers stand on an island beyond the normal jazz arms race."
That knowledge pays off in a sonic portrait like "Lanky, Stanky Maestro," which Haas wrote in honor of Vidacovich and which evokes an explosive barrage of rakish outbursts from the drummer. Singleton calls it "pure slop/funk/mid-city/spaghetti-eatin' grease"—and he'd know better than anyone. He continues that the "constant counterpoint conversation (including and especially the kit) is a contemporary flowering of the polyphony present in New Orleans music from 100 ears and years ago. That's how we are able to reflect the complexities of adult lives with relatively simple materials."
On the wildly spiraling "Bluebelly," Singleton tips his hat to the more (post) modern sounds that he was confronted with through bandmate Dillon's work in Garage a Trois alongside drummer Stanton Moore and saxophonist Skerik. Haas' tumultuous "Homer & Debbie" was penned as an ode to two of his five dogs, and more expansively about life and death, youth and old age. Dillon's "Elegant Miss J" commemorates a lost love and the pitfalls that follow when romance meets a life on the road. Landscape was also an inspiration for Haas, who wrote the imposing "Gracemont" under the sway of Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains and the down-home "Pecos Wilderness" while musing on the terrain near his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Then there are the inevitable passions that arise from a world in turmoil and the rebirth that (hopefully) can rise from it, as has happened time and again in New Orleans' beleaguered past. Singleton's "Dikefinger" is his response to Hurricane Katrina, erupting in anger and then giving way to optimism and solidarity. Haas' title track "No Revenge Necessary" casts both a more intimate and a much wider net, sparked by the end of a relationship, but expanding to encompass the divisive times in which we all find ourselves these days.
"For me the over-riding theme moving forward is forgiveness," Singleton sums up. "Hopefully the strength of the music can serve as a reminder of the possibility of growth and healing through forgiving."
Nolatet will announce national tour dates shortly, but they are already set for two shows during New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, including April 27 at The Music Box and April 29 at Marigny Opera House.
'No Revenge Necessary'
1. Lanky, Stanky Maestro
2. Homer & Debbie
3. Black Sheep
4. No Revenge Necessary
5. Elegant Miss J.
9. Pecos Wilderness
'No Revenge Necessary' is out Apr. 27 on Vinyl, CD & Digital via RPF
Available for Pre-Order Now