"Capping off the concert were five songs by Kurt Weill, ingeniously arranged by jazz composer Nicholas Urie. Even here there were surprises — the opening of “Lonely House” could almost have been part of the Webern. For the most part, though, the songs adroitly walked the delicate line between art and entertainment. So did the performances by Wilder, Watson, and the Criers, all of whom wore their skills with a kind of casual virtuosity."
The Jazz Session
"Four stars. astonishing debut...Kurt Weill for the internet age" Ray Comiskey-
All About jazz
"This is not pretty music, nor is it particularly easy to listen to. But this makes it no less genius. This is music of high intelligence that expects as much as it provides, and what it provides is a listening experience like little else in our barren sonic desert."
Chicago Jazz Music Examiner
A U.S. premiere: Kurt Elling in Chicago, with a little Danish on the side.
”These days, Klüvers Big Band features a number of arrangements by Nicholas Urie, an American-born wünderkind arranger, who at the age of 26 has released two ambitious and uncompromising albums of original compositions while penning arrangements for a slew of other artists.”
All about jazz
R.J. DeLuke wrote this wonderful article for All About Jazz. The article explores the state of contemporary big band music by talking to the people writing it – a novel idea to say the least. He spoke with Dave Rivello, Jacam Manricks, J.C. Sanford, David Schumacher, Chris Jentsch and myself about what we do, who we are, and how we see the art progressing
all about jazz
"Excerpts From an Online Dating Service is very well conceived. Jazz (or any genre, for that matter) has never seen such adaptation. Writing music to surround such difficult text is a feather in Urie’s cap. Making it so immediately accessible and entertaining is a mark of the young composer’s genius.Urie does not simply blow off the dust of the large jazz ensemble, he sandblasts it off with Uranium." C Michael Bailey
Democrat and chronicle
Urie is a 25-year-old wunderkind avant-garde jazz composer whose first album, [Excerpts From An] Online Dating Service, was built around lines snatched from online dating services. My Garden uses the same found-words idea, this time poking through the vast poetry catalog of the late Charles Bukowski. You could quibble with the selections made by Urie, a handful of lines, but this seems representative: “Drinking beer doesn’t make you fat. It makes you lean… against bars, tables, chairs and poles."
all about jazz
"the mayhem is unshakable and somehow anchored." Mark Corroto-
"...great album." -Delarue
"My Garden is a thematically compact, vivid recording that rewards concentrated listening. Urie’s ensemble evokes everything from coy humor to fiendish courage. The music’s scope is at least as large as that of the poetry, and the combined effect of the two make this one of my favorite recordings in any genre of the last two years." James Hall-
"[My Garden} is cold, dark and totally glimmering." Magnus Eriksson
"Like the gloomy laureate whose work is re-sounded here, Nichloas Urie is not afraid to walk on the dark side. Equally like his subject, he is able to find fragments of beauty in the gloom. Pain may be a flower but it can grow away from the dirt in its search for the clearer air." Richard Elliot-
"The beauty of Nicholas Urie’s debut CD lies in the details. Excerpts from an Online Dating Service is a marvelous experiment, bolstered by the unique anticipation found in the online dating scene. Urie, just 23 years of age, assembles a large ensemble to tackle the movement of the internet personal advertisement, turning the cultural landscape of internet encounters into profound, evocative poetry....Excerpts from an Online Dating Service is a compelling work of art. It deepens the dialogue of humanity as it shifts into the technological age, examining the transfer of our base instincts to small blurbs of intent on a website. There is nothing cheap, tawdry, or condescending in Urie’s interpretations and his honest approach is well worth a listen." Jordan Richardson-
"This is a stunning debut disk and not just one might be taken aback by the subject matter. The arrangements are quite impressive, the playing sparkling, and the compositions melodically strong... Remember his name – judging by the music and scope of “Excerpts…”, Nicholas Urie has a great future. " Richard Kamins-
“My Garden” is overflowing with ideas, strong playing and singing, plus the feeling that Nicholas Urie is going to be a major voice in creative music for decades to come.” Richard Kamins-
“Composer Nicholas Urie blows the dust and cobwebs off the jazz big band. He re-envisions its sonorities and gestures, avoids clichés and breathes new life into a vital resource that was in danger of becoming a museum artefact...My Garden has abrasive splendour in abundance.”
"Urie succeeds wonderfully in transferring the grime of skid row to the sheen of the concert hall without sacrificing any of the poet’s bite and desperate humanity.” Matt Marshall-
"All 8 tracks [of Excerpts From an Online Dating Service] are gems, and this CD gets an immediate MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for adventuresome jazz listeners of all persuasions…"
"Excerpts From An Online Dating Service is not just a remarkable first effort, it is a strong and imaginative depiction of a very real aspect of contemporary culture."