NoMo has grown and become more ambitious since its origin two years ago as a one-night experiment, and the appearance at the Ark marks a new stage in its development. The club is clearing away the tables and chairs in front of the stage to create a dance floor, but the ambience will still be different from that at clubs where the band has appeared in the past. Its music can cut through the surrounding roar of beer orders and shouted conversations if need be, but an Ark performance will highlight the details of founder Elliot Bergman's saxophone improvisations and will let people hear the harp that provides a charmed background texture to NoMo's music and sometimes emerges into the open with solos that evoke Malian kora music. NoMo is something new in the music of southeastern Michigan a band that has taken the interest that young people are once again showing in African music and done something really innovative with it.
[Originally published in December, 2004.]