Tooth is a concept album recorded in the late 1990s during the high-time of the NYC Ska scene. In a way, it's a time capsule that's being opened up right before your ears.
Tooth covers an amalgam of styles, from straight-up Ska to odd time Reggae, Free Jazz to Noisecore, Rock and Country ballads and capped with a solo piano track from Vic Ruggiero. The recording sessions resulted in each tune becoming a scene in a musical play, performed by a cast of highly versatile musicians.
There's some heavy weight players on the record: Vic Rice, Vic Ruggiero, Agent Jay Nugent, Chris Murray, Patrick Carayannis and a bunch more.
This is a special timeless, genre-bending record almost 15 years in the making.
Vic Ruggiero (Keys), Vic Rice (Bass), Agent Jay (Guitar), Darren Beckett (Drums), Ian Russell (Saxes), Matt Schulman (Trumpet) Franz Carries (Trombone), Kwon Chong (Percussion), Lief Nielsen (Vocals), Patrick Carayannis (Guitar & Vocals), Chris Murray (Vocals), Rob Price (Supersonic noise guitar) , Simon Chardier (Escaped-from-the- asylum guitar)
About Da Whole Thing
Da Whole Thing's line up reads like the signers of the 90s NYC Ska Mob Magna Carta:
Victor "Roots Rock" Rice (Stubborn All-Stars, New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, Orange Street, Resident Maniac, a former Scofflaw, to name a few.), bass and riding the soundboard; his partner in rhythmic precision, Agent Jay Nugent (Stubborn All-Stars, NYC Ska-Jazz, Orange Street, Agent 99, Crazy Baldhead, IRT Band), rhythm guitar; the hardest-working man in ska business himself, Vic ?Lord Sluggo? Ruggiero (Slackers, Stubborn All-Stars, NYC Ska-Jazz, Sic & Mad, The Silencers, The Nods, The Gadjits, Rancid, The Epistrophy 3), organ; the unstoppable David Hillyard (Slackers, Stubborn All-Stars, NYC Ska-Jazz, Rocksteady 7, Hepcat, The Epistrophy 3), tenor saxophone; Ian Russell (The Phantoms), a highly versatile arranger extrordinaire, soprano and ternor saxophone, flute, piccolo; Takuya Nakumara, the jazz fireball from Japan, trumpet; Ireland's pride and joy, Darren Beckett drum; Patrick "Mr. Trick" Carayannis (Vic's Pick, Shorty Bacchus & The Vines), the brains of the operation and originator of Da Whole Thing, lead guitar; Kwon Chong, an absolute force of nature, percussion; and then there's me, Lief Nielsen, lyrics and vocals.
They were active in the 90s around NYC, playing shows through Version City and at Coney Island High.