Nerve Dance

Michaël Attias – alto saxophone
Aruán Ortiz – piano
John Hébert – bass
Nasheet Waits – drums

“I was looking for a particular chemistry, a kinship of approach that I can only describe as a fiery mathematics whose combustion is in the blowing itself, a group identity so strong that it becomes the overriding composition… Big fun to play with this band. They’re all such deeply creative and lyrical players. Each one has a very personal way of bringing design to the turbulence and turbulence to the design, total fearless commitment to every moment of the music— making it breathe and dance—balancing the yins and yangs, fire and receptivity, mystery and clarity… Hébert, Nasheet and I have played together in countless situations over the last fifteen years, and, of course, for years those two played together with Andrew Hill, whose music is a big inspiration to us all. There’s a singing quality and elasticity and dance to everything they do. Aruán is the new agent in this chemistry: he has all the qualities I’ve mentioned, and a kind of visionary approach to sound and time, order and chaos, that I really appreciate… Music demands of us, as players and listeners, that we put our emotions, minds, bodies, and nervous systems on the line and pay attention. The reward is that we can all share in the dance.”

. . . principled art unbound . . . This may be the most pliable and self-assured quartet to emerge in recent times. It’s certainly one of the most creative. Nerve Dance manages to operate equally well on visceral and cerebral planes. It’s a musical livewire that provides joy to the ears and a jolt to the system.”
– Dan BilawskyAll About Jazz

Attias’ own playing, like the compositions, draws heavily both on jazz history and abstraction . . . He also has a way of constantly using timbre and attack to shape every phrase, something of a lost art . . . All in all, a magical, emotionally honest and beautiful album from one of the most interesting musicians working today.”
– Olie Brice, London Jazz News

. . . the art of free jazz as a cathartic form of exercise for the human body and spirit.
– Ron Hart, The Observer

. . . a remarkably tight-knit band . . . cascading, singing figures alive with shifting inflections . . . Every minute is alive . . .”
– Stuart Broomer, NYC Jazz Record

Michaël Attias strikes a precarious balance between instinct and intellect. He has just the right partners for such a task . . . brilliant musicians who know how to complicate any hard-and-fast distinction between “outside” and “in.” The album’s mood and strategy shifts subtly from one piece to the next, as if to keep everyone poised to pounce.
– Nate ChinenTake Five (WBGO)