Hoffman's thoughts on the Wetlands event? "It was such a great show from beginning to end in terms of talent in the bands, he raved. "We've never been a part of a bill where all of the bands were really interesting and fun to listen to and inspiring to us. But that was the case Friday night.... I hop that some of those bands can get together and do it again. I think it will happen because we all get along. Backstage, everybody was complimenting each other and that was rare. -- Jackie Enfield. "The New Groove Generation Show." The Aquarian Weekly: 7/29-8/5/98
Every now and again you'll stumble into a gig and find an unexpected surprise. But ulu, a five-piece instrumental outfit based in New York City, is a band that will downright shock you, forcing your feet to move and your jaw to drop. The "unleabelable" groove they have mastered is as pioneering, and difficult to classify, as bands such as Medeski Martin & Wood and The Grey Boy All-stars. One can expect a distorted clavinet solo that hooks a hard harmonic left turn and settles back down to melodic pockets off the saxophone or flute. This is all happening above a relentless bass and rhythm groove skillfully providing space in the backyard of the beat. In just a few short months on the scene, ulu has generated a strong buzz and admiration among peers. This is a band that's on the way up. -- The Pharmer's Almanac Volume 4: The Unophicial Guide to Phish. Winter 98.
Fusion earned itself a bad name in the late '70s and early '80s because the focus of progressive rock and jazz turned to skill, largely ignoring feeling. Manhattan's ulu, however, play fusion as popularized by Bitch's Brew-era Miles Davis, and the result is superb, intelligent music that demands rump shakin'. The quintet have been making quite a name for themselves in downtown NYC, earning themselves comparisons to Medeski, Martin & Wood, The Grey Boy All-stars, and The Lounge Lizards. -- Jordan Malken "De La Soul and ulu are coming to Atwood" The Scarlet: 3/19/98
What do you get when you mix a jackson heights sax and flute player with a taste for jazz from Milwaukee; a Beatles-loving bass player born in London who grew up in Great Neck; a Wantagh drummer influenced by the cult rock band Phish;a New Jersey keyboard player influenced by Herbie Hancock; and a Brooklyn guitarist with a heavy metal background who has lived in Italy, Brazil, Thailand and New Jersey?
The answer: ulu.
The local band with a grwoing cult following combines jazz, rock, funk and various other types of music to create a unique sound all their own. -- Jeff Berman "Fusing Jazz, Rock and Funk Into 'ulu'" The Queens Courier. 2/26-3/4/98
With musical influences ranging from '70s-style funk-like Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and James Brown, to the jazz of Miles Davis, ulu places heavy emphesis on both composition and improvisation. All of their pieces are originally composed and most feature solos from every member of the band.
Although ulu is stylistically similar to more mainstream bands like Phish, Hoffman claims that the individuality in ulu's music is best demostrated in their organization and variation. "Our music could take on a different crowd like an acid jazz crowd, the hippie-type crowd and a more sophisticated coffee shop-type crowd," says Hoffman...
"Although the band has only been together for a little over six months, ulu has quickly gained dedicated fans and as a result, their mailing list keeps growing. "Things have just happened so fast," says Hoffman. "The right people liked us in the beginning and they gave us a chance." -- Julie Jarema "Up and coming band, ulu, finds sound between jazz and funk" Washington Square News. 11/27/97