The Hub
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The Hub

Band Jazz Metal


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The best kept secret in music


"With the spit-in-yer-face attitude of"

"With the spit-in-yer-face attitude of punk, and the muzo-sophistication of jazz, The Hub can make you punch the air with joy or drop your jaw withamazement in
the same tune. Their cutting edge blend of styles is perfect for its time - our time!"
- Fred Grand- Jazz Review

"The hungry young players in THE HUB have a voracious appetite for far-flung sounds"

“The hungry young players in THE HUB have a voracious appetite for far-flung sounds, Charles Ives, Busta Rhymes and Slayer pin them to a specific place and time: namely New York City at the dawn of the new millennium.” - The Metro, UK

"The Hub at the Vortex, London"

Wherever the Hub comes
from, it isn't the Charlie
Parker school of jazz.
If this Brooklyn power
trio hasan obvious guiding
spirit, it is probably John
Zorn -plus a lot of general
mind-jangling listening to
subterranean thrash-metal

A look at the band's European gig-list indicates that they could be on the road about as much as Pat
Metheny, albeit visiting rather tattier venues,
attended by much younger audiences who aren't fazed by the lack of regular tunes. At the London stop of that tour, the trio were maniacally exhilarating. They look like an American college rock band (the drummer came on in a singlet, shorts and a headband), but that is where all links to the familiar break down. Their music is loud, fast, indifferent to traditional build-ups and resolutions, often refers to jazz but in
a broad-brush (or hurled bucketful) manner rather than in studied detail, and is as exciting in its twitchy energy as it is often unlovely in its textures and tone.

The band's sound unceremoniously switches between
tautly organised ensemble music and howling
abstractions. This performance took in a jigging,
squirty, Ornette Coleman-like alto sax theme from Dan Magay over Sean Noonan's thrashing drums, with
intervals for Noonan's furious nickety-nacketing on
the woodwork of the kit. The remarkable electric
bassist Tim Dahl, meanwhile, swapped his fast,
rubbery, stream-of-sound improvising for eruptions of raw noise.

The trio's skillfulness in sustaining and varying a
regular groove is matched by a periodic indifference to the usual rules of steady tempo. A bass figure faintly reminiscent of an old Headhunters lick pulled the saxophonist into a lurchingly jazzier manner,while Noonan's drum pulse remorselessly changed tempo beneath. But the trio can also be conventional, as with an unexpectedly gentle visit to samba, Magay's sax carrying the tune in high, breathy exhalations. Sporadically, Magay also accompanied his fierce alto sound with harmony-generating electronics, while Dahl's fast, jazzy bass-walk under a free-sax blast of sound was gripping in its precision and energy. A real breath of fresh air, even if it hits your eardrums at dangerous velocities.

Tuesday November 5, 2002, The Guardian - John Fordham


On May 2nd and 3rd
THE HUB returns to
Prague to play two
highly anticipated
shows at Jazz Club
Zelezna. Previous
shows in Prague and
around the continent
have left audiences
with reactions from
bewilderment, offence,
curiosity, fright,
admiration and loathing.

One of the more cacophonous and adventurous acts that will come through Prague this year, THE HUB is set to light up
Zelezna once again when it comes through Prague on it’s “Jacked Up” tour.
What is THE HUB? Why are they so weird? Some say bassist Tim Dahl was dropped on his head when he was a baby. Others say it happened on numerous occasions. Regardless he is composing some truly original and exciting music. Part of the NY underground “Dirty Jazz” scene, THE HUB is a truly modern hybrid of Jazz, Metal, Hip-Hop and Punk. The band skips between these diverse genres with stunning speed and fluidity never once sounding like a fusion act. These are three studious musicians who are bent on speaking that language of music that they have internalized in all its beautiful and craziness.
I caught up with the band when I was in New York recently and was especially taken with Dan Magay’s continuing evolution on alto saxophone. The native Californian has recently moved to New York but the pace of the city hasn’t changed his laid back persona. The vitality and exhilaration of New York, however, has brought out more or the daring Eric Dolphy-like riffs he tears out, red-faced and on the verge of exploding. He was experimenting with a wah-pedal and other effects, which promise to further aggrandize and color the band’s music.
When THE HUB passed through Prague six months ago on their “Vandalism” tour the drummer Sean Noonan had a broken right hand from a fistfight. He had to play all the shows one-handed further baffling incredulous audiences. Hopefully, if he curbs his pugilist Irish instincts, we’ll see him unbound and bashing, in his preferred state where he doesn’t so much play the drums as much as he becomes one with them, sweating and breathing the beats.
Prague’s integration into the west is slowly bringing more and more music to the city but it’s still the too frequent pit-stop for a whole range of dinosaur 70’s schlock-rock and awful death-metal bands. Posters for Marilyn Manson and AC/DC all over Prague 1 tell the story. Those hungry for something more innovative should check out THE HUB at Zelezna.

Think Magazine,Prague, Czech Rep,May 2, 2001 - Jeremy Hurewitz

"THE HUB, The Wardrobe, Leeds"

The Hub is a trio which
hails from downtown
Brooklyn and consists
of Dan Magay on alto
saxophone, Tim Dahl on
electric bass and Sean
Noonan on drums. It is
a band with an incredibly
complex musical identity
whose members play with
the conviction and ferocity
of men with a mission.

Categorisation of their musical style is a distinctly incongruous and futile activity because said mission is to eliminate any such misplaced notion of genre conformity thus allowing us to savour instead the diversity that they eschew. Producing a concoction of their own devising that contains elements of jazz, punk, new wave, no wave, funk and freeform improvisation, they are an irresistible force and make for compelling listening. Conversant with, and happy to play in, any or all of these modes at any given time leads to music of great originality but miraculously with not a hint of confusion. Their musicianship and commitment is such that pieces flow with ease and logic through diffuse and often conflicting passages.
Playing compositions from their CDs (Vandalism and Accident), the small but equally dedicated audience at Leeds followed every twist and turn with relish and the trio returned the compliment with a relentlessly intense performance.
Dan Magay has a conversational approach to the alto very akin to that of Eric Dolphy. Here the comparison ends for he is very much his own man and can run the gamut from fierce screams to lilting melody variously producing short, staccato bursts of pure energy or long, sinewy lines of bebop-like convolution. His tone is harsh and acerbic (not unlike Lee Konitz) but perfectly suited to quick changes of mood which The Hub1s music engenders.
Tim Dahl is a bass player with prodigious chops and huge technique. He produces a range of sounds from the electric bass that put his playing firmly into the "how does he do that?" category. At home with pumping out heavy riffs, serpentine complexity or sheer grunge noise, most of the compositional credits come from him and he is overflowing with musical ideas. Indeed they can hardly be contained at times and erupt at will, usurping an already established musical thought in mid stream with a fresh approach that continually surprises the listener yet remains fully integrated within the overall structure (much like the technique adopted by John Zorn in Naked City).
Sean Noonan is a one-off and seems constantly to surprise himself every time he approaches the drum kit. So at one with his instrument is he that it feels like the kit is initiating and eliciting his participation, engaging him in a conversation of call and response. It is the kit that animates him rather than the other way around. This is a phenomenon to behold and produces a level of unpredictability and dramatic tension that is at the centre of the trio1s music.
Acutely attuned to every nuance of each other1s playing, The Hub never missed a beat either musically or emotionally and kept their audience totally engaged and on edge at one and the same time. No mean feat and a rare treat.

Review in Jazzwise, UK May 2002
- John Cratchley

"THE HUB an Explosive mix of New York"

Apart from the very few, who took shelter as they were worried about the state of their eardrums, the other jazz friends who attended last Wednesday’s performance at the Stag’s Head Music Bar (Hirschwirt) were in complete agreement that the thunderstorm which they had just witnessed on stage that evening deserved to be labeled as a magical moment. Three young Amercian musicians, all under 25, had decided to stop in Mooseburg as part of their European tour. This tour included many impressive venues that offered THE HUB the opportunity to detonate their explosive mix of New York.
THE HUB is an up and coming trio consisting of the Californian saxophonist Dan Magay, and with the New Yorkers Tim Dahl on electric bass and Sean Noonan on drums. Although still considered by the music business to be an “insider tip” the band has already built up an intricate network on European clubs, concerts, and festivals. During the last four weeks their road tour has literally taken them to every corner of Europe by car. Not to mention the enormous effort put in by their well known “workaholic” Sean Noonan who, without the help of any professional management, organized the band’s European tour from his hometown in New York, a tour stretching from Sweden to Portugal, from Prague to Paris and from Dresden to Mooseburg.
The effort to categorize their own music, which have longer compositions but at the same time is also spontaneous and novel, brought a smile to the faces of the three sympathetic musicians. “Call it what you want! We call it young jazz” was their answer. The music isn’t from the renowned New York jazz clubs. It’s an exciting mixture of punk rock, power jazz and classical avant-garde. An explosive mixture that the trio molded together during a short period when the three exceptional musicians were hired to play at a gala-dinner event in Florida. During the day, when they had nothing better to do with their time, they sat together and challenged one another to play new and adventurous instrumental arrangements.
The result is a sound that causes your hearing to go into a spin. As loud as a rocket blasting from Cape Canaveral, clear as the sky over the equator, and as dynamic as the traffic on 5th Avenue, THE HUB is not exactly music for a dreamy evening in front of the fireplace. Their albums “Vandalism” and “Accident” didn’t exactly get their names by chance. Playing their own compositions “Big Mouth”, “Screaming Contest”, and “Over and Out” almost caused some of the music fans at the “Stags Head Bar” to climb up onto their bar stools! Their musical equipment had to be reduced to a bare minimum for travel purposes and therefore consisted of a bass and snare drum, a hi-hat, two hanging cymbals and a gong, together with an electric bass with three foot pedals and an alto saxophone. As a result this directly reflected
in the purity of their sound. No need for any lulling
melodies or gimmicks, just and uncompromising
polyphony with three instruments, well insinuated
breaks and unforgiving eruptions together with
some lyrical unison passages, which extenuated
the precise arrangements of the band. That was
the mix that created an extatic atmosphere in the
“Stag’s Head” last Wednesday evening. After the
band’s stereotype “thank you” for each of their
own pieces there was really only one answer in
the end from the crowd, “Encore-Encore.”

Mooseburgzeitung,Germany, November 3, 2001 - Reinhard Kneiper

"Libertarian surge"

" Witness of a new youth in jazz, the New York trio closed the
festival Jazz à Liege setting the room on fire with a music stuffed
with energy and violence" Charles Ledent, SudPresse

"Daring Youth. The Hub seduced the young audience of the 15th Jazz a Liege Festival, that's a fact. This New York trio juggle with ease between
rock, jazz, hardcore and punk, but they manage nevertheless to deliver
a music impressed of sensitivity. Strong emotions were present,
flirting with a certain tortured lyricism. It should be seen to
believe it." Julie Dohet, Vivre a Liege

- Jean-Pol Schroeder, Jazz Critic


Live at the Gugalander


Feeling a bit camera shy


Formed in 1998, THE HUB is making a major comeback after suffering from a serious car accident on tour in November 2003. Sean Noonan received two broken legs after being struck by a drunk driver nearly crippling him. After months of surgery and rehabilitation, THE HUB has excited audiences in over 17 countries, performing in some of the most respected music venues such as, The Knitting Factory, Copenhagen Jazz House, and U.K.'s The Wardrobe. After initially shocking audiences with their eclectic array of original compositions, THE HUB have earned a loyal fan base worldwide. HUB fans have even been known to travel up to six hours to see them perform.