Tuesday 10 May 2016

On Stage: New Cool Collective ft. Thierno Koite

On a trip through Senegal New Cool Collective attended an Orchestra Baobab show and got acquainted with their alto sax player Thierno Koite. They got along very well and the band dedicated a song to him on their album Electric Monkey Sessions. Now, a few years later, they even were able to fly him over and record some songs together and of course do a few shows while he's here.

New Cool Collective ft. Thierno Koite at Paradiso Amsterdam, May 8 2016

I've seen New Cool Collective play several times of course but not so often will you be able to see them play with their entire big band. That alone is a reason to go see this show. First they start to play a few songs without their special guest to warm up, as if they need to on this tropical day in May. It's always nice to see this band play, with their loose and cool attitude but very tight arrangements and play. You can leave it to these top notch players to throw a swinging party and it's sad to see not many people are here tonight.

Most of the big band players get their change to play a solo tonight up front in the spot light although maybe the sax players spent less time there. Because their special guest Thierno Koite is invited to the stage after a small introduction by band leader Benjamin Herman. Koite looks a bit overwhelmed by all this attention but NCC make sure he gets plenty of time to play. Herman mentions his unique sax sound and indeed it's almost as if his sax is singing African songs, sometimes even whispering.

There are a few Orchestra Baobab songs on tonight's setlist together with some new songs and everything is entirely written for this special set-up. The band is in great shape and on fire so it's impossible to stand still. The rhythm section goes crazy with explosive solos and all sax players gather at the front for an amazing round of saxophone craziness. Together with Koite, NCC turned this night into an African dancing party and we even had the African sun to go with it. I can't wait to hear the new album!

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