Bright and strong, the song “Obey the Fist” from the self-named new CD from Nim Quartet has amazing ensemble work, characterized by an uninhibited, funkalicious bass (front man Nim Sadot wields the axe); on-point trumpet; and perfectly together, assertive drums. Chordal, moody keys in the background add texture, then provide a hard groove with a solo.
Another song from this cool collection, “Good Cat Bad Cat,” begins with tense yet prettily colored intervals on the keys; joyful, irregular madness on drums; and a central line you are aching to find a resolution for. “This N That” has a hooky melody and is a stunning display of the band’s uber-talented horn player. And in “John,” Nim truly lays down a gorgeously fat bass line with a sweet, sultry contrast on top from the violin.
It’s a new CD, and Nim Sadot hasn’t one miss in the bunch.
Why at age 20 did you move from Israel to the US; back again, and then to the UK?
My father moved to California for work, so the whole family moved together for 3 years.
I’ve had some of the best times ever as I was playing with a few bands all over the West coast. When it was time for him to go back I wanted to stay but I had to move out as my visa was about to expire.
After four years in Israel playing and teaching at various schools, I decided to push my career further to London. Israel is too small.
How would you compare the jazz scenes in these 3 countries?
The USA is where it all started and is still happening today. In Europe and Israel, we have a different sound and swing feel. We’re not as technical and it’s seems like we’re more atmospheric. In the UK we also have a very strong Nu Jazz scene.
What was it like to play in your first London Jazz Festival?
The London Jazz Festival was great! It’s an intensive nine days over 100 different clubs/venues, from very small clubs to massive halls.
Why do you consider your sound “magical jazz” per your press release?
It’s better to let other people describe your music. I took that from a review that was given to my album by a great UK blog called “Twisted Soul.” Thanks Colin!
Why did you choose bass?
I played the guitar for three months with two of my friends and we needed a bass player.
The bass chose me.
What’s the biggest challenge you faced when starting out in your music career?
To find paid gigs and students.
What qualities are most important when you choose other instrumentalists?
Sound and skills but also the obvious things like to come prepared, be on time and just be a nice easy-going guy/girl.
What do you appreciate most about the other members of your quartet?
First my piano player Hamish Balfour. This guy is the most amazing musician I know. He’s got it all and for my opinion he is one of the top jazz pianists in Europe.
I have the pleasure to play with different drummers and trumpet players, each one has his own unique way and sound to make the music happen.
At the moment I’ve been using Nick Walters or Graham Pike on trumpet. Both are brilliant. On drums I have Yuval “Juba” Wetzler. He’s a childhood friend and we’ve been playing together for about 24 years now so we know each other inside out.
How would you describe your style?
I prefer to let others describe my style, i just play the bass the best I can.
Some of your favorite jazz artists of all time?
Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Jaco.
What are the most important things a new student of bass needs to know?
How to hold the bass and play correctly. He/she must learn the notes, chord notes and the scale we can use over each chord. It doesn’t take long to learn this, around three to four months for a passionate student. Once they pass that, the real challenge starts.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
It’s gives me such a satisfaction to see the joy they’re experiencing when they’re learning something new and understanding an old one.
Why do you think you became a best seller in only one month on BandCamp?
It’s a bit of a mystery to me, I think it’s a combination of sharing my page on the first day with over 180 students I’ve had over the years as well as getting on a few blogs.
I guess BandCamp noticed the volume of plays and sales, and pushed me more to the front. Having an interesting album cover helped get the attention of new listeners. I also got my album on a big YouTube channel, so that helped too!
How would you like to explore jazz more?
For me jazz is a way of living. I wake up thinking about it and going to sleep with it.
I would like to take it to a place that I’m more and more in the zone. When you get to that place you can reach a very high spiritual experience.
There’s definitely funk and electronica influences; also very melodic lines from the trumpet on your new CD, “Nim Quartet.” What are the different moods you try to convey here?
I have no idea where it’s all comes from. When I’m creating I will start with a simple bass line, drum beat or melody. Everything else will naturally join in.
I never know where it will go and I never decide what style or feel the next tune will be.
Where will you perform this year?
I’m not sure yet. I’m now trying to book some gigs in Israel and I really hope it will happen, that will be very special for me.
Where would you most like to perform?
Royal Albert Hall, Round House or North Sea Jazz Festival.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing the band?
Everything. As I’m an independent artist I do it all on my own. The hardest thing has been the social media side and booking gigs.
Have you don’t any international festivals?
We haven’t performed in any yet but we would love to. If you’re reading this and running a festival please get in touch!
What’s your favorite story about composing?
There were a few times I’ve been spending a whole day writing and feeling great to be creating something amazing. Sometimes I listen to it the day after and don’t like it at all!
I would like to share that “Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.”
For more information, visit www.nimquartet.com.