If you have not yet experienced Planet D Nonet, your groove tank is missing out on some serious fuel.
They’re Detroit’s own down and dirty little big band, known nationally for curating some of the best in early jazz traditions and Black-American musical influences from the 20s, 30s and 40s. More “hot” than “sweet,” according to PD9 cofounder and bandleader RJ Spangler, who started the nine piece ensemble with longtime musical partner James O’Donnell in 2007.
PD9 is a pared down version of the traditional big bands of the 1930s, and they frequently feature guest vocalists, adding to the versatility of the band’s show. The number of musicians in the lineup is reminiscent of the earliest big bands, when swing was still evolving into the sound that defined jazz music’s most popular era.
“The band retains the agility of a small group,” says Spangler, “but with the harmonic palette of a larger one.”
Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press calls Planet D Nonet “one of Detroit’s great party bands,” with a “sweeping field of vision that ranges from Swing Era classics to connoisseur works by Duke Ellington, mind-expanding pieces by the visionary Sun Ra and some down-and-dirty joint R&B.”
The group has been nominated and awarded multiple honors over the past decade, including seven Detroit Music Awards. Most recently, they were named 2019 DMA for Outstanding Traditional Jazz Artist/Group, and not surprisingly that was not the first time they received that award.