Mike Chamberlain, Hour, December 11, 2003

Tom Walsh has reconstituted NOMA in the dozen years since the group’s first recording. For one thing, it’s no longer a Toronto-Montréal band, but is composed of all Montréal musicians. NOMA is really a double trio of Guy Kaye (guitar), Al Baculis (electric bass), and Thom Gossage (drums) on what Walsh calls “côté cour.” They are the funk side. The jazz-actuelle side, “côté jardin,” is comprised of Rainer Wiens (prepared guitar), Normand Guilbeault (contrebasse), and Pierre Tanguay (drums). Walsh stands in the middle, directs, adds samples, and plays trombone. The music is set on 32 tracks over 61 minutes, and it ranges from very actuelle noodlings to dense funk, to crackling soundscapes, to fairly straight up jazz. Which is to say that Walsh gets a lot out of his musicians. The nice thing is that it all sounds part of a whole, with a general movement from the abstract to the concrete as the music moves along.