New York United is a working quartet comprised of Downtown New York reeds master Daniel Carter, Danish-Brooklyn dream-pop Blue Foundation’s electronics, synth and beats player of Tobias Wilner, hip-hop Wu-Tang Clan’s bass player Djibril Toure and long-time collaborator of Carter, drummer Federico Ughi, who released the quartet debut album on his and Carter’s independent label. Ughi envisioned this group after collaborating with all the musicians – with Carter in many projects since 2001, including the Forward Festival that both have founded; he played drums with Blue Foundation and played together with Toure in the punk-rock group Major Taylor. New york United performed several times in New York during 2016 and recorded its first studio album in May 2016 without any preconceived plans or written music. The free-improvised music was later molded and produced by Wilner.
The digital version of this album offers five pieces where the limited edition 12’’ vinyl album offers only four pieces. All pieces are atmospheric and breezy soundscapes, cemented by repetitive electronic beats. Carter sounds as playing apart from the rest of the New York United, hovering above the electronic envelope and soloing – on flute, trumpet, and alto and tenor saxes – with his very own senses of time and space. His lyrical, melodic tone clearly refuses to subscribe to the monotonous, sometimes urgent rhythmic patterns, that often brings to mind the iconic sound of Miles Davis’ groove-oriented «Tutu».
The only piece that suggests an organic synthesis between the ethereal grooves and Carter playing is the bonus one, «East Flatbush». Ughi sets here powerful polyrhythmic patterns that correspond beautifully to Carter meditative flute playing, while Toure intensifies the hypnotic groove and Wilner spacious beats echo the peaceful gestures of Carter.
Daniel Carter (s), Tobias Wilner (elec), Djibril Toure (b), Federico Ughi (dr)