Born of a weekly Sunday jam session at the now-closed Joli Rouge in Asheville, North Carolina, the E. Normus Trio has been a project of Jay Sanders and Steve Alford since 2007. At the heart of the huge sound generated by the group is Sanders’ use of the N/S Stick, an 8-string multi-mode instrument that covers the ranges of both a bass and a guitar, and creates the ability to take on what would normally be coverd by a bassist and a guitar player. This nucleus paired with Alford’s vocalized and primal lead voice, six octaves of sweeping clarinet range, creates a sonic palette unlike any other trio out there. To this mix, add Michael W. Davis, who brings incredible jazz sensitivity coupled with huge power generated not by volume, but with an utterly superhuman control of the time.
Wonderfully progressive in style, complete with off-the-wall arrangements, unexpected and startling effects and a completely unrestricted attitude, the three members of E Normus Trio have created an album of astounding creativity and substance. ~ Bold Life
The cliché to employ here is “punk jazz,” but I’ll be danged if that doesn’t fit perfectly. ~ Something Else! Reviews
Challenging yet warm and inviting, E.Normus Trio’s "Love and Barbiturates" brings together the best of jazz and rock sensibilities, creating something exciting in the process. ~ Musoscribe
For those who prefer post-rock outfits that stray into jazz territory, this one is for you. A trio of clarinet, drums, and an N/S Stick (a stringed instrument that doubles as guitar and bass). Lots of primal screaming and throaty missives, with a pleasant undercurrent of drums and percussion. Some cool music here that sometimes rocks, sometimes floats on a sea of tranquility. ~ emusic