Reviews that mention Nate Wooley

October 26, 2017

Agustí Fernández

Celebration Ensemble
Fundacja Sluchaj FSR 04/2017

Albert Cirera/Hernâni Fustino/Gabriel Ferrandi/Agustí Fernández

Before the Silence

No Business Records NBCD 96

Having passed the venerable age of 60, Barcelona-area-based pianist Agustí Fernández has been fêted for his prominence on the broadening international improvised music scene. It’s a tribute to his sophisticated musical adroitness that his playing partners now range from Parker (William) to Parker (Evan), without causing a fissure in any situation. Like a director of foreign films who makes the transition to mainstream Hollywood fare, the Catalan pianist has been acclaimed for his adaptability. But like partisan film maker who imports foreign expertise and actors to shore up the local industry, Fernández’s home town concerts often include international partners. Besides confirming his playing and compositional talents, these Fernández discs demonstrate that ideal. MORE

August 19, 2017

Harris Eisenstadt

Recent Developments
Songlines SGL 1620-2

Harris Eisenstadt Canada Day

On Parade in Parede

Clean Feed CF 413 CD

By Ken Waxman

Having reached a comfortable maturity in his playing and composing, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based percussionist Harris Eisenstadt isn’t averse to showcasing both his talents in varied settings. Like an athlete who excels at more than one sport, the drummer has with On Parade in Parede created a spirited FreeBop session with his Canada Day quartet. Meanwhile Recent Developments is a spiky recasting of composed chamber jazz played by a nonet. MORE

August 19, 2017

Harris Eisenstadt Canada Day

On Parade in Parede
Clean Feed CF 413 CD

Harris Eisenstadt

Recent Developments

Songlines SGL 1620-2

By Ken Waxman

Having reached a comfortable maturity in his playing and composing, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based percussionist Harris Eisenstadt isn’t averse to showcasing both his talents in varied settings. Like an athlete who excels at more than one sport, the drummer has with On Parade in Parede created a spirited FreeBop session with his Canada Day quartet. Meanwhile Recent Developments is a spiky recasting of composed chamber jazz played by a nonet. MORE

December 26, 2016

Taylor Ho Bynum

Enter the Plustet
Firehouse 12 FH 12-04-01-025

Illegal Crowns

Illegal Crowns

RogueArt ROG-0066

Quietly and without excessive fanfare, Connecticut-based cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum has become one of this century’s most accomplished composers, improvisers, orchestrators and band leaders. Like a fighter who excels in whatever weight classes he trains for, Bynum has not only been involved in the macro sense, as one assistant conductor of some of Anthony Braxton’s major creations, but also in micro situations, where he manages to convey the breath of his ideas performing solo or in ensembles as small as duos, usually with drummer Tomas Fujiwara. MORE

May 12, 2016

The B.O.A.T.

Hapax Legomena
Boat 008/RAT 034

By Ken Waxman

Straddling the basin where punk, improv, metal and jazz streams intersect is the Euro-American Bureau of Atomic Tourism (B.O.A.T.) sextet, which honey bee-like extracts musical ambrosia from each genre without burrowing too deeply into its flowering petals. Without overturning B.O.A.T.’s navigational strategy the band has replaced two members on this, its fourth CD. Two of Belgian’s busiest players, drummer Teun Verbruggen and electric pianist Jozef Dumoulin are still on board as are Americans, trumpeter Nate Wooley and reedist Andrew d’Angelo. Joining the international crew are American noise-rock bassist Tim Dahl, and New York-based, Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson. MORE

March 12, 2016

Larry Ochs

The Fictive Five
Tzadik TZ 4012

By Ken Waxman

Clues to saxophonist Larry Ochs’ expansive cinematic approach to composition are that three of four lengthy tracks here salute filmmakers Wim Wenders, Kelly Reichardt and William Kentridge. Just as those cineastes advanced diverse takes on the language of film, so Ochs references the free music breakthroughs of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. More crucially though, in the same way that none of these filmmaker’s work replicates earlier productions – or each others’ ideas – so too is The Fictive Five project a step beyond the visions of Ayler and Trane. Plus like film making this project is a group effort, the concepts of Ochs as writer-director are interpreted by a cast of Nate Wooley’s truculent trumpet sneers, drummer Harris Eisenstadt’s irregular splashes and snare splatters, the dynamo-like pressure that emanates from dual bassists Ken Filiano and Pascal Niggenkemper, plus like auteurs such as Orson Wells or John Cassavetes, a role for jagged abrasions that make up Ochs’ outlay on tenor and sopranino saxophone on the CD. MORE

December 1, 2015

Daniel Levin Quartet

Friction
Clean Feed CF 342 CD

Daniel Levin/Juan Pablo Carletti

Illusion of Truth

Outnow ONOR 18

Ripe for new experiments and contexts is New York cellist Daniel Levin as he demonstrates on these releases. Member in good standing of the city’s experimental music scene, the Burlington, Vt.-born cellist has been recording with his quartet since 2006, but is also available to be challenged by the likes of reedists Joe McPhee or Ivo Perelman in other contexts. His skills along with those Erik Friedlander and Fred Lonberg-Holm among others, have helped carve out a burgeoning role in jazz-improvised music for an instrument that until recently was treated as an oddball obsession for the few such as Fred Katz and Oscar Pettiford. MORE

July 11, 2015

Rutger Zuydervelt

Stay Tuned
Baskaru karu 31

By Ken Waxman

One well-honed cliché of music anecdotes is when a talented performer walks into a room, asks another player to “give me an A” and once satisfied with the sound rhapsodically displays the breath of his mammoth talents. Rutger Zuydervelt, a conceptual artist and electronics manipulator from the Netherlands, subverts that bromide in a unique fashion on this fascinating CD. Contacting a cross section of international experimental musicians, he asked for an A alright and got 152 of them transmitted to him. Zuydervelt then processed the sound snatches into a 50-minute loop that approximates both the fantasy of a gigantic ensemble tuning up as well as a mesmerizing stand-alone electro-acoustic creation. MORE

July 6, 2015

Festival Report

Ring Ring
By Ken Waxman

Try to imagine any North American TV network telecasting a performance by Charles Gayle that’s simultaneously broadcast on radio and via live streaming. Impossible, right? But that’s exactly what took place mid-way through the annual Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade Serbia. Facing an enthusiastic studio audience, Gayle on piano and tenor saxophone plus Polish bassist Ksawery Wojcinski’s subtle string bending and German drummer Klaus Kugel’s aggressive, but un-antagonistic beats played for one hour. This unique programming characterizes Ring Ring (May 19-25) in colorful Belgrade, a city poised between East and West which has been subject to periodic sieges and bombardments since the 14th Century including NATO’s in 1999. Slightly constrained by the studio, Gayle’s tenor saxophone playing was less ferocious than in the past although still characterized by wide vibrato and molten intensity, which was put to good use on a run through of “Ghosts” and during duets with the bassist’s choppy thrusts. A unique pianist, Gayle favored the instrument’s dark register with boogie-woogie allusions, supplemented by his own voicing, which re-harmonized standards like “I’ll Remember You” and “What’s New”, dissected them, eventually revealing the melody, like an X-ray of the skeleton beneath the skin. MORE

June 26, 2015

Ducret/Verbruggen/Wooley

The Evil Art Contest
Rat Records RAT 024

Le Pot

She

Everest Records er cd 069

Establishing the textures of trumpet, guitar, drums and dedicated electronics next to one another for performance has become commonplace enough in improv to suggest its own subgenre. But the key to such interface is to scope out a sonic journey as well as well as exhibiting novel textures. Each of these European ensembles makes the effort, but overall the result (s) appear to be spend more time exposing unforeseen timbral connections than forging a coherent narrative. MORE

January 1, 2015

The Bureau of Atomic Tourism (B.O.A.T.)

Spinning Jenny
RAT 025

Spinning out improvisations based on compositions from the members of his Bureau of Atomic Tourism (B.O.A.T.) sextet, drummer Teun Verbruggen has come up with a rugged exemplar of Transatlantic Jazz. Featuring soloists as attuned to gnashing Metal as outlier Free Jazz, B.O.A.T. relentlessly sails through six tracks, with the players incorporating fluid sweeps and convivial introspection alongside sinewy tone stretching.

One of the tent poles on which the contemporary Belgian scene rests, Brussels-based Verbruggen has put in time with affiliations such as the Flat Earth Society and the Jef Neve Trio. He has more challenge and freedom of expression in the B.O.A.T., especially judging from his choice of associates. Trumpeter Nate Wooley and reedist Andrew d’Angelo are certified downtown New Yorkers, who with in many other groups; French guitarist Marc Ducret exhibits a personal method of Jazz-Rock fusion; Dutch bassist Jasper Stadhouders has worked with everyone from Ken Vandermark to Cactus Truck; and fellow Belgian Fender Rhodes player Jozef Dumoulin has a trio with Ellery Eskelin as well as other commitments MORE

April 28, 2014

Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández/Nate Wooley

From the Discrete to the Particular
Relative Pitch RPR 008

Fernández/Manouach/Sans

Wry

Clamshell Records CR 13

After establishing himself as almost without question Spain’s most accomplished improvising pianist, Barcelona-based Agustí Fernández maintains an international career as well as a local one. These premium-quality trio discs, featuring completely divergent instrumentation, recorded about nine months apart demonstrate his interactive facility.

With the unique formation of two chordal instruments and one brass, From the Discrete to the Particular captures a New Haven gig matching the pianist with guitarist Joe Morris, with whom he has played frequently and newer collaborator trumpeter Nate Wooley. Brittle and somewhat disconcerting, the contrapuntal scrapes, buzzes and plucks easily inhabit the abstract Free Music sphere. Recorded the next year in Saint Pere de Vilaajor in Catalonia, Wry is a more ferocious program, reuniting Fernández, with drummer Ivo Sans, who with the pianist is one of the 11 members of the Free Art Ensemble, and adding Greek soprano saxophonist Ilan Manouach. Classic Free Jazz trios such as pianist Cecil Taylor’s with saxist Jimmy Lyons and drummer Sunny Murray are suggested here, except that Manouach’s tone is thinner, subtler and more wide-ranging than Lyons’; while Sans is more involved and less overbearing then Murray. MORE

March 18, 2014

Trumpets and Drums

Live in Ljubljana
Clean Feed CF 282 CD

Kaze

Tornado

Circum Libra Records 202

Taking legendary musical battles like those of King Oliver vs. Freddie Keppard as a starting point, trumpet duals are as old as Jazz itself. Nonetheless unreserved experimentation, which has characterized the best improvised music over the past few decades, has transformed the idea of so-called cutting contests into episodes of cooperation. You can note it in these CDs which both feature two trumpeters with rhythmic accompaniment. Not only is there no attempt by any of the four brass men involved to Roy Eldridge-like blow his partner out of the picture, but despite a congruence of instruments, neither instrument sounds remotely like the other. MORE

December 19, 2013

Nate Wooley Sextet

(Sit In) The Throne of Friendship
Clean Feed CF 280 CD

Frank Rosaly

Cicada Music

Delmark DL 5006

Transferring personal compositional notions to an ensemble can be challenging, depending on the size and makeup of the group. Both the vibraphone-centred sessions here – led respectively by Chicago drummer Frank Rosaly and New York trumpeter Nate Wooley – avoid the obvious drawbacks by entrusting the interpretations to long-time associates. However the drummer hedges his beats by mixing brief earlier tracks, recorded solo or in quintet formation, with far superior sextet outings from three years later. By maintaining a consistency of vision however, Wooley’s CD comes out on top. Another point of intersection is that while both leaders are identified with the so-called avant-garde, there’s a genuine commitment to showcasing exciting motion in the composition – call it jazz or swing if you wish. MORE

November 8, 2013

Label Spotlight:

Relative Pitch Records
By Ken Waxman

We both feel that every release has been a success,” says Kevin Reilly, co-owner with Mike Panico, of the New York area-based Relative Pitch (RP) record label. “I want to stay away from categorizing our releases according to the parameters of late industrial capitalist consumerism.”

Economic methodology aside, in the less than five years since it was founded, Relative Pitch has already put out 14 well-regarded CDs, featuring younger advanced players such as guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter Nate Wooley, plus veteran free musicians including bassist Joëlle Léandre and saxophonist Urs Leimgruber. MORE

January 11, 2013

Artist Feature

Agustí Fernández
By Ken Waxman

A complete pianist in every sense of the word who blends exquisite technique with innovative inspiration, Agustí Fernández is arguably Spain’s most accomplished contemporary improviser. This month he’s playing four nights in different configurations at the Stone, a rare series of American dates. “I like all kind of combinations, from duo to big ensembles because each one presents different challenges for a player,” he explains. “Listening, language, instruments, techniques, sound, volume, interplay, etc. will be different in every setting.” MORE

January 1, 2013

Harris Eisenstadt

Canada Day Octet
482 Music 482-1080

Harris Eisenstadt

Canada Day III

Songlines SGL 1596-2

Modest to a fault, despite Canadians’ contribution to Jazz since its beginnings, it took the 21st century and Brooklyn-based percussionist Harris Eisenstadt to trumpet his native land in his band name. Formed for a series of gigs beginning on July 1, Canada Day, the quintet has since become one of the Toronto-born drummer’s main touring vehicles. Finally now including another Canadian-in-the-U.S. – powerful and unfussy bassist Garth Stevenson – in the band, the high-quality CDs here demonstrate the flexibility of the core unit plus the percussionist’s compositional heft when writing for both the regular group and an expanded octet. MORE

January 1, 2013

Harris Eisenstadt

Canada Day III
Songlines SGL 1596-2

Harris Eisenstadt

Canada Day Octet

482 Music 482-1080

Modest to a fault, despite Canadians’ contribution to Jazz since its beginnings, it took the 21st century and Brooklyn-based percussionist Harris Eisenstadt to trumpet his native land in his band name. Formed for a series of gigs beginning on July 1, Canada Day, the quintet has since become one of the Toronto-born drummer’s main touring vehicles. Finally now including another Canadian-in-the-U.S. – powerful and unfussy bassist Garth Stevenson – in the band, the high-quality CDs here demonstrate the flexibility of the core unit plus the percussionist’s compositional heft when writing for both the regular group and an expanded octet. MORE

December 20, 2012

Ensemble X

Ensemble X
Red Toucan RT 9344

Insub Meta Orchestra

Archive #1

Insubordinations insubcd04

Reductionist to the extreme, especially for those accustomed to the distributed colors of a symphony orchestra or the rhythmic flexibility of big Jazz band, these European ensembles both take as their strategy the movement and integration of timbres. Despite the 15 members of Köln-based Ensemble X or the 35 plus [!] participants in Geneva-based INSUB META Orchestra’s initiative, the idea is for each group of improvisers to move and sound like one entity. Equally challenging, the concept is designed so that each must contribute his or her particular tonal qualities at controlled volume and within a specific dynamic range. That these discs are as striking as they are is a testament to both the ensemble members’ cooperative skills as it is to the guidance of tubaist Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Ensemble X’s initiator on one hand, and the five Insub Meta Orchestra members who lead the conduction on different tracks of that CD. MORE

January 5, 2012

Pete Robbins’s Unnamed Quartet

Live in Brooklyn
NotTwo MW 845-2

By Ken Waxman

Setting himself and his unnamed quartet a major challenge, alto saxophonist Pete Robbins recorded this program of completely improvised music at a Brooklyn bar a couple of years ago. While the end product is slightly unpolished, this CD demonstrates that the right combination of players and circumstances can invest cerebral and technical experiments with emotion and dexterity.

It helps that Andover, Mass.-native Robbins, who has been New York for about a decade performing with everyone from John Zorn to Melvin Sparks, surrounds himself with some of the city’s most accomplished younger players. Trumpeter Nate Wooley’s abilities have been equally stirring in minimalist chamber excursions as in free jazz settings. The same can be said for cellist Daniel Levin, who here utilizes both his instrument’s rhythm section and front-line identities. As he does elsewhere, drummer Jeff Davis provides the ballast for free-flowing soloing. MORE

October 5, 2011

Harris Eisenstadt

Canada Day II
Songlines SGL 1589-2

Although he left Toronto more than a decade ago, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt hasn’t abandoned his home town … or country. This thoroughly modern session is the second CD is by one of his working band, whose name came from its first gig on July 1. Complete with a cover painting – with canoe – reminiscent of the Northern Ontario summer camp the drummer attended, Eisenstadt’s eight originals are played by a quintet of top-flight New York jazzers, none of whom is Canadian, although bassist Elvind Opsvik is Norwegian. MORE

July 2, 2011

Daniel Levin Quartet

Organic Modernism
Clean Feed CF 212 CD

Erik Friedlander

Fifty Miniatures for Improvising Quintet

Skipstone Records SR006

No longer an anomaly, the cello as part of an improvising ensemble is now as common as the presence of other so-called orchestral instruments in that context. Furthermore since modern cellists involved in Free Music are schooled in its unique history, rather than being doubling bassists, the breadth of the instrument’s colors, both pizzicato and arco, are more meaningfully adapted to these situations. MORE

December 4, 2010

Nate Wooley & Paul Lytton

Creak Above 33
psi 10.02

Ercklentz/Neumann

Lalienation

Herbal International Concrete Disc 1001

Sound sources expressing the properties of wood, strings, brass and skin inform the interactions which characterize these notable CDs. Yet as definitions of acceptable resonance and intonation continue to evolve, improvisations such as these start with more of a clean slate then others.

Case in point Lalienation, which showcases five digital sound processed improvisations created by Sabine Ercklentz, whose minimalist trumpeting wavers between extended techniques and almost standard tones, and Andrea Neumann, whose specially designed, keyboard-less piano frame is played with pick-ups and preparations. Both Berlin-based the two have spent almost a decade performing as a duo or with other microtonal experimentalists such as trumpeter Axel Dörner and percussionist Burkhard Beins. MORE

November 1, 2010

Daniel Levin Quartet

Bacalhau
Clean Freed CF 195 CD

Tim Daisy Vox Arcana

Aerial Age

Allos Documents 004

Jean-Marc Foltz

To The Moon

Ayler Records AYLCD-112

Kathryn Ladano

Open

No Label

Extended Play: Chamber Improvisations

By Ken Waxman

Derided in the past as effete or derivative, chamber-style improvising has fascinated musicians at least since the 1920s, both on the jazz (Benny Goodman, Red Norvo) and classical (George Gershwin, Ferde Grofé) sides. However, as this group of CDs demonstrates, with contemporary musicians conversant with both strains of sound, the transitional awkwardness of the past has been replaced by inspired flexibility MORE

March 23, 2010

Mary Halvorson/Reuben Radding/Nate Wooley

Crackleknob
hatOLOGY 662

Tetuzi Akiyama/Éden Carrasco/Leonel Kaplan

Moments of Falling Petals

Dromos Records 001

Hautzinger/Okura/Akiyama

Rebuses

MonotypeRec. mono027

Combined, contrasted and contrapuntal guitar and trumpet textures – plus those of another instrument – are what tie together these notable sessions. Yet even though only a trio of instruments is involved on each – and Tokyo-based On-kyo guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama is present on two of the three CDs – the overall performances can readily be distinguished from one another. MORE

December 12, 2009

Nate Wooley

Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing
Porter PRCD-4022

Daniel Levin Quartet

Live at Roulette

Clean Feed CF 147 CD

One of the trumpeters who, over the past few years, have committed to lower-case improvisation, Brooklyn-based Nate Wooley has also subtly adapted his distinctive playing to different situations. As a matter of fact, listening to these noteworthy CDs, it may appear as if Wooley, who was born in the Pacific Northwest, has a separate Midwestern and East Cost persona.

That statement may be a bit louche however. That’s because the fragmented texture-gliding he exhibits with Chicagoans cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm – who may be the most-frequently recorded cellist in New music – and bassist Jason Roebke, who anchors a clutch of Windy City combos – is close to what the trumpeter brings to some New York groups. However as a charter member of cellist Daniel Levin’s quartet since 2001, he attentively tries to meld with the impressionistic and legato impulses from the cellist as Live at Roulette attests. The band is filled out by vibist Matt Moran, who also plays in drummer John Hollenbeck’s ensembles, and bassist Peter Bitenc. MORE

December 12, 2009

Daniel Levin Quartet

Live at Roulette
Clean Feed CF 147 CD

Nate Wooley

Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing

Porter PRCD-4022

One of the trumpeters who, over the past few years, have committed to lower-case improvisation, Brooklyn-based Nate Wooley has also subtly adapted his distinctive playing to different situations. As a matter of fact, listening to these noteworthy CDs, it may appear as if Wooley, who was born in the Pacific Northwest, has a separate Midwestern and East Cost persona.

That statement may be a bit louche however. That’s because the fragmented texture-gliding he exhibits with Chicagoans cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm – who may be the most-frequently recorded cellist in New music – and bassist Jason Roebke, who anchors a clutch of Windy City combos – is close to what the trumpeter brings to some New York groups. However as a charter member of cellist Daniel Levin’s quartet since 2001, he attentively tries to meld with the impressionistic and legato impulses from the cellist as Live at Roulette attests. The band is filled out by vibist Matt Moran, who also plays in drummer John Hollenbeck’s ensembles, and bassist Peter Bitenc. MORE

November 2, 2009

RIDD Quartet

Fiction Avalanche
Clean Feed CF 121 CD

Harris Eisenstdat

Guewel

Clean Feed CF 123 CD

Andy Milne-Benoît Delbecq

Where is Pannonica?

Songlines SGL SA-1579-2

Michael Bates’ Outside Sources

Live in New York

Greenleaf Paperback Series Vol 4

EXTENDED PLAY: Canadians at Home and Aboard

By Ken Waxman

Ancient but apt, the saying “you can take a boy out of the country, but can’t take the country out of the boy” is more accurate if the country is Canada and the “boys” are male and female musicians in the United States. No matter how busy they are, improvisers are always ready to play north of the border. Last month, for instance, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt played two Toronto shows in one day before continuing an American tour. MORE

November 2, 2009

Michael Bates’ Outside Sources

Live in New York
Greenleaf Paperback Series Vol 4

Andy Milne-Benoît Delbecq

Where is Pannonica?

Songlines SGL SA-1579-2

Harris Eisenstdat

Guewel

Clean Feed CF 123 CD

RIDD Quartet

Fiction Avalanche

Clean Feed CF 121 CD

EXTENDED PLAY: Canadians at Home and Aboard

By Ken Waxman

Ancient but apt, the saying “you can take a boy out of the country, but can’t take the country out of the boy” is more accurate if the country is Canada and the “boys” are male and female musicians in the United States. No matter how busy they are, improvisers are always ready to play north of the border. Last month, for instance, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt played two Toronto shows in one day before continuing an American tour. MORE

November 2, 2009

Andy Milne-Benoît Delbecq

Where is Pannonica?
Songlines SGL SA-1579-2

Harris Eisenstdat

Guewel

Clean Feed CF 123 CD

RIDD Quartet

Fiction Avalanche

Clean Feed CF 121 CD

Michael Bates’ Outside Sources

Live in New York

Greenleaf Paperback Series Vol 4

EXTENDED PLAY: Canadians at Home and Aboard

By Ken Waxman

Ancient but apt, the saying “you can take a boy out of the country, but can’t take the country out of the boy” is more accurate if the country is Canada and the “boys” are male and female musicians in the United States. No matter how busy they are, improvisers are always ready to play north of the border. Last month, for instance, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt played two Toronto shows in one day before continuing an American tour. MORE

November 2, 2009

Harris Eisenstdat

Guewel
Clean Feed CF 123 CD

RIDD Quartet

Fiction Avalanche

Clean Feed CF 121 CD

Andy Milne-Benoît Delbecq

Where is Pannonica?

Songlines SGL SA-1579-2

Michael Bates’ Outside Sources

Live in New York

Greenleaf Paperback Series Vol 4

EXTENDED PLAY: Canadians at Home and Aboard

By Ken Waxman

Ancient but apt, the saying “you can take a boy out of the country, but can’t take the country out of the boy” is more accurate if the country is Canada and the “boys” are male and female musicians in the United States. No matter how busy they are, improvisers are always ready to play north of the border. Last month, for instance, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt played two Toronto shows in one day before continuing an American tour. MORE

November 20, 2008

Daniel Levin Quartet

Blurry
hatOLOGY 653

Drummer-less chamber-improv without compromise, this CD is more lucid than Blurry. Cellist Daniel Levin, trumpeter Nate Wooley, vibraphonist Matt Moran and bassist Joe Morris clearly and resourcefully demonstrate how extended techniques can be interlaced with shaded pointillism to create a satisfying group effort.

Throughout the cellist’s multi-toned arches and spiccato interjects plus the trumpeter’s smeary growls and plunger excavations are as germane for the evolution of the eight tracks as the bassist’s stolid thumps and the vibist’s shimmering key bounces. Encompassing smooth transitions from one instrument’s contributions to another’s, these mostly Levin-composed lines, feature uncommon exchanges involving say a splintered chromatic aside from Wooley, supported by fundamental connective plucks from Morris. Frequently polyphonic, the tunes are melded and molded using note clusters that move them through quasi-romanticism, stark improvisation and luminescent vibrations. MORE

April 3, 2008

Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet

Inner Constellation Volume One
Nemu 007

By Ken Waxman

Taking up most of the CD with his almost 47½-minute Inner Constellation suite, Manhattan-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil structures his composition to take advantage of the cohesive layered textures available from each section of his mini-orchestra. With the strings Jean Cook’s violin, Tom Abbs’s bass, and his own guitars; the horns trumpeter Nate Wooley and saxophonist Aaron Ali Shaikh; plus Nasheet Waits drums, the through-composed work is properly represented, while individual improvisations are showcased as well. MORE

December 9, 2007

Chris Forsyth & Nate Wooley

The Duchess of Oysterville
Creative Sources CS 087 CD

Axel Dörner

Sind

Absinth Records aR 010

Scott Tinkler

Backwards

Extreme Records XCD-058

Reinterpretation of instruments’ roles and timbres arises for different musicians in different places at different times. Additionally, not every player reconfigures his or her instrument and playing style in the same way. These factors have to be weighed in order to appreciate these solo trumpet (and etc.) sessions from three different continents. MORE

December 9, 2007

Scott Tinkler

Backwards
Extreme Records XCD-058

Axel Dörner

Sind

Absinth Records aR 010

Chris Forsyth & Nate Wooley

The Duchess of Oysterville

Creative Sources CS 087 CD

Reinterpretation of instruments’ roles and timbres arises for different musicians in different places at different times. Additionally, not every player reconfigures his or her instrument and playing style in the same way. These factors have to be weighed in order to appreciate these solo trumpet (and etc.) sessions from three different continents. MORE

December 9, 2007

Axel Dörner

Sind
Absinth Records aR 010

Chris Forsyth & Nate Wooley

The Duchess of Oysterville

Creative Sources CS 087 CD

Scott Tinkler

Backwards

Extreme Records XCD-058

Reinterpretation of instruments’ roles and timbres arises for different musicians in different places at different times. Additionally, not every player reconfigures his or her instrument and playing style in the same way. These factors have to be weighed in order to appreciate these solo trumpet (and etc.) sessions from three different continents. MORE

November 21, 2006

Reuben Radding

Fugitive Pieces
Pine Ear Music PME 002

By Ken Waxman

Proving his versatility once again, Brooklyn-based bassist Reuben Radding heads up a quartet dedicated to providing an American response to the sort of reductionist sounds usually associated with European and Japanese improvisers.

Not that there’s anything xenophobic about the pieces, pointedly linked to Canadian author Anne Michaels book, Fugitive Pieces “which our music has nothing to do with”, he writes. More generically, the seven pieces on the CD demonstrate that the restrained ethos, which Japanese call Onkyo can be adopted some players whose first alliance is with more demonstrative sounds. MORE

October 17, 2006

Daniel Levin Quartet

Some Trees
Hatology 632

Near flawless chamber jazz, cellist Daniel Levin’s quartet inhabits eight unforced improvisations without ever turning effete or enervated.

Inspired soloing from all concerned – especially the leader, and trumpeter Nate Wooley – provides some of the session’s impetus, while the remainder comes from the powerful rhythmic thrust of Joe Morris’ bass and Matt Moran’s vibes. Morris – a dual threat, best-known as a guitarist – provides the ostinato underpinning for many tunes; while Moran, a member of the Claudia Quintet, sounds quivering key vibrations as often as accompanying wallops, especially when playing in unison with Morris. MORE

February 20, 2006

GREG KELLEY

i don't want to live forever
Little Enjoyer1/Gameboy 73

NATE WOOLEY
Wrong Shape to be a Story Teller
Creative Sources 038 CD

Docked in the farthest reaches of brass experimentation, neither of these CDs is designed for a casual listener. Unvarnished real-time records of solo trumpet manipulation, together the twitters, shrills, hisses and silences are as far removed from melodic as you can get. Both single track improvisations – Jersey City, N.J.’s trumpeter Nate Wooley’s is a touch under 51¼ minutes, and Boston’s Greg Kelley’s a few seconds longer than 36 minutes – they prove that in the right hands, the textures from three-valve brass can be as expressive yet as unidentifiable as those that come from reed instruments or even electronics. MORE

July 17, 2005

MASASHI HARADA CONDANCTION ENSEMBLE

Enterprising Mass of Cilia (2001)
Emanem 4109

ASSIF TSAHAR & THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA
Fragments
Hopscotch Records HOP27

Utilizing instrumentation more commonly associated with notated chamber music than improvisation, these Boston and New York-based ensembles become individually crafted vehicles upon which the leaders/conductors express themselves.

Although both the 10-piece Conduction Ensemble from Boston and the 19-piece New York Underground Orchestra are top-heavy with string players, the resulting performances bear very little resemblance to one another. Japanese-born, Boston-based Masashi Harada’s version of conduction promulgates a collective creation where each minute gesture or sound is consolidated into a dense whole. He calls his creations music of body. ENTERPRISING MASS OF CILIA’s nearly 66½ minutes may be divided into nine tracks, but the impression is that of a single, dense creation. MORE

November 8, 2004

DONEDA/WRIGHT/NAKATANI

from between
soseditions 801

BLUE COLLAR
__ is an apparition
Rossbin RS 016

Tatsuya Nakatani’s irregular percussion pulse is what holds these two trio sessions together. Yet the skills of the Japanese-born, South Bronx, N.Y.-based improviser and sound artist merely underline the objectives of the two hornmen with whom he’s associated on either CDs.

Firmly committed to microtonal improv, saxophonists Michel Doneda and Jack Wright on FROM BETWEEN and brassmen Nate Wooley and Steve Swell on _IS AN APPARATION express themselves in non-linear sound pictures in such a way that not only Free Jazz, but electronics -- albeit without electronic instruments -- are referenced. This far into the 21st century, both duos make their point succinctly. But Wooley/Swell/ Nakatani’s band Blue Collar is more novel, since the brassmen create with three valves each, while sopranino and soprano saxophonist Doneda and soprano and alto saxophonist Wright do so with a multiplicity of manipulated keys. MORE