Tag Archives: Ikue Mori

Squidco review by Paul Serralheiro

CF 260Lytton / Wooley + Ikue Mori and Ken Vandermark The Nows (CF 260)
Although this CD is essentially a duo project uniting veteran drummer Lytton of the English improv scene and relative newcomer and trumpet technician extraordinaire Nate Wooley of the NYC scene, it is in part a two-CD set of live trio performances, the first including laptop artist Ikue Mori and the second reedist Ken Vandermark. One set recorded at the Stone in NYC, the second at Chicago’s The Hideout, both in March of 2011.

The creative core of the double-disc offering is Lytton and Wooley, and what a creative core it is. Wooley in particular is a striking musical personality with a percussive and timbral approach to the trumpet that stretches the repertoire of sounds one usually associates with the instrument. Not that he is alone in extending the language of the horn. Many have come before him, including people like Don Cherry, Bill Dixon, Joe McPhee, and Dave Douglas, but what Wooley brings is a more formidable skill than his predecessors in what is usually referred to as extended techniques. With contemporaries like Peter Evans, Wooley is redefining what is possible with the trumpet, which includes all kind of multiphonics, tonguing and buzzing sounds the trumpet is capable of, but which have been left out of the idealized trumpet sound, and included in all this are feats of circular breathing that are coherently and musically integrated.

Lytton, best known for his work in the English free jazz scene since the 1960s, most notably with Evan Parker, brings an articulate percussive foil to Wooley’s conceptions and the two, although more than a generation apart, are a natural match in terms of musical freedom and architectural and textural concerns. Both seem to have an endless flow of creative ideas about creating and manipulating sound and their equally strong personalities here support each other while also standing squarely on their own — along and together, facts amply clear in the opening duo track “Free Will, Free Won’t,” one of three duo tracks on the two CDs. The other tracks feature either Ikue Mori on computer or Ken Vandermark on clarinet, bass clarinet, and tenor or baritone saxophones. The two guests add to the already well-defined duo sound rather than alter it to any great or discernible extent, although Vandermark’s contributions seem at times to prod Wooley into some different, broader or more open sounds and motifs than on the other tracks.


Le Son du Grisli review by Guillaume Belhomme

CF 260Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori and Ken Vandermark (CF 260)
Deux enregistrements de concerts ont permis à Paul Lytton et Nate Wooley de peaufiner leur entente et d’enrichir leur discographie commune – d’un disque double, qui plus est : The Nows.

Le concert donné au Stone de New York date du 2 mars 2011. Le batteur charge en impatient, le trompettiste lui répond en frénétique : le repli viendra ensuite, au son de recherches percussives impertinentes et de notes de trompette qui y résistent ou se laissent par elles subtilement modifiées. Alors, Ikue Mori rejoint le duo : l’électronique éloigne un temps Wooley, qui reparaîtra pour parfaire l’ouvrage électroacoustique à coups d’exclamations franches. L’association aura brillé.

Le concert donné au Hideout de Chicago date du 16 mars 2011. Lytton et Wooley sur deux plages d’abord : notes longues de trompette contre claques redoublées, les secondes réussissant bientôt à faire danser les premières ; dialogue intergénérationnelle qui s’amuse de ses différences sur une même pratique de l’improvisation alerte. Alors, Ken Vandermark rejoint le duo : une fois que la clarinette basse aura charmé Wooley, ce sera au ténor que le trompettiste devra s’opposer avec force. L’un comme l’autre amateur de déroute, les deux souffleurs construiront un interlude comme privés soudain de leurs nerfs, avant de reprendre les hostilités : baryton répétitif que la trompette pourra citer pour mieux l’agacer encore. L’association aura autrement brillé.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

CF 260Paul Lytton /Nate Wooley with Ikue Mori and Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
If Nate Wooley won some free jazz polls at the end of the past year for trumpet, it has no doubt something to do with his performances on The Nows (Clean Feed 260), a two-CD set of himself and percussion adept Paul Lytton in two live settings, the first at the Stone in NYC with Ikue Mori joining in on computer for about half the program, and another date at the Hideout in Chicago, with Ken Vandermark gracing the podium on bass clarinet, clarinet, tenor and baritone for the second half of the set.  Nate is exploring sound territory that is most decidedly avant and extended; Paul complements perfectly with a widened percussion kit and a keen dramatic sense. The guests fit in quite nicely–and it’s always a treat to hear the Vandermark baritone.   In the end, though, the two principals carry the day with some exceptionally imaginative out playing. “A triumph!”, I could add. Well, OK, it is that.

JazzWrap review by Stephan Moore

CF 260Paul Lytton & Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori and Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
An ambitious duo project from Nate Wooley and Paul Lytton that began only a few years ago but has evolved into an exciting collaborative effort. And with the two disc opus, The Nows, the listener gets to experience it in two separate live settings with guest musicians.

Lytton and Wooley have a chemistry that feels as though it goes farther back than just a few years. They begin their conversations slowly and roll into a volcano of improvised patterns that still maintain strong organic structure. “Free Will, Free Won’t” features various crackles from Lytton’s kit meshed against Wooley extended harmonics that feel like the tea kettle boiling over and no one cared.

“Abstractions and Replications” adds Ikue Mori’s electronics to the proceeds. Mori’s gadgetry turns the piece into an underwater scifi journey. There are smooth curling motions with tiny and intricate treatments. You have to stay still to hear the minor notes. This kind of skill requires the listeners undivided attention. And it’s a brilliant discovery.

The second live set is with one of my favourite musicians, Ken Vandermark. “Automatic” sees Wooley share passages with Vandermark and it/s beautiful to hear the conversation escalate than drop out as one horn takes the lead. This all the while with Lytton ram shackling the hues in the background. It may read like chaos–but its a beautiful chaos. Vandermarks clarinet is deep and billowy.

“The Ripple Effect” is the shinning conclusion to this experimental journey. Wooley and Lytton are in fiery form and Vandermark quietly marches in toward the middle passages. Vandermark really compliments the duo, adding the exclamation points in each verse.

Lytton and Wooley are a powerful and emotion-bending duo that get even more creative with each guest musician. The Nows is another example of terrific collection of free thinking crafting new outlooks. An absolutely great live set.

Diário de Noticias review by João Moço

A dupla Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley juntou-se a Ken Vandermark e Ikue Mori e juntos criaram das obras mais indefiniveis e inventivas da atual música improvisada.

CF 260Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori & Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
Classificação: 5/5
Free Will, Free Won’t, o título da faixa que abre este álbum duplo liderado pela dupla Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley avança desde logo com o que poderemos esperar deste duplo álbum, onde também marcam presença Ikue Mori e Ken Vandermark. The Nows é um disco de total liberdade, seja em relação a amarras estéticas, a regras tecnicistas ou à tendência da divisão compartimendada da música. Porque o que se ouve ao longo desta mais de hora e meia de música não se pode definir enumerando apenas um mar de géneros musicais ou de referências.

Paul Lytton é um nome que dispensa apresentações. Baterista maior, surgido em finais dos anos 60 na cena free jazz londrina, tem marcado presença regular em discos de Evan Parker. Nos últimos anos juntou-se a Nate Wooley, aquele que é, a par de Peter Evans, um dos mais talentosos trompetistas da atualidade. Bem mais que uma promessa, já que Wooley tem constantemente provado uma versatilidade que o leva dos terrenos mais experimentais até ao apuro lírico de composições mais estruturadas (oiça-se o disco e 2011 do seu quinteto).

Juntos, Paul Lytton e Nate Wooley decidiram convidar para partilhar consigo o palco Ikue Mori com as suas explorações electrónicas e, noutro momento, o saxofonista Ken Vandermark, um dos mais sólidos instrumentistas de jazz do momento.

O resultado destas uniões só se poderia aproximar do histórico. O primeiro disco, gravado com Ikue Mori, é o que leva os músicos envolvidos para terrenos mais exploratórios, onde subtis texturas electrónicas se encontram com a força improvisadora de Wooley e Lytton. Nate Wooley consegue, simultaneamente, explorar as muitas valências sonoras do seu trompete, com ou sem efeitos, mas querendo, sobretudo, encontrar nele uma manta de criação sonora irrepetível e que, mesmo assim, mantém vincada a sua personalidade.

Já o segundo disco, gravado com Ken Vandermark, é aquele em que Nate Wooley e Paul Lytton mais se aproximam dos terrenos conhecidos do free jazz, levados pela mão de Vandermark. A interação entre os três músicos revela uma extrema cumplicidade, que é de aplaudir. Juntos também desbravam novos caminhos dentro do que é hoje a música improvisada, mas com uma sabedoria do que tem sido a história do jazz, o que lhes dá uma bagagem também técnica que permite que o resultado final seja extremamente criativo.

Se o título da faixa de abertura deste disco aponta logo para o que podemos encontrar neste álbum duplo, na verdade, o título do disco é suficiente: The Nows. Isto é o que agora e o agora múltiplo nas suas possibilidades inventivas.

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

CF 260Paul Lytton & Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori & Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
Ultra-progressive jazz and avant-garde expressionism are trumpeter Nate Wooley’s toy stores, so to speak. He’s well-established in the modern era’s radical music scene and teams here with venerable Euro-jazz percussionist Paul Lytton, equating to a vivid snapshot of the duo’s 2011 US tour. Brilliant minds think alike, and the proof resides in the multifarious modes of delivery conjured up by these artists. It’s not only about stirring improvisational encounters, because the musicians also sculpture a seemingly endless array of sounds, employing multiphonics and tonal diversions amid moments of anguish, jocularity, and brazen exchanges.

Culled from the duo’s performance at The Stone in New York City, the musicians merge sheets of nimble movements, and use space to counter torrential downpours, often amplified by Wooley’s raspy-toned attack in conjunction with Lytton’s expansive arsenal and fluid pulses. A good deal of the album’s polytonal mechanisms stem from the percussionist’s armada of small implements, used to contour the perimeters of free-form expressionism, rather uncannily mustering a bigger presence, like a jagged histogram with a surfeit of dips and spikes. On “Automatic,” computer sound-shaping denizen Ikue Mori intersperses streaming effects and underlines the asymmetrical rhythmic component with buzzing intersections while generating an amorphous underpinning for her cohorts’ unwieldy dialogues.

Sax ace Ken Vandermark sits in with the duo during the show at Chicago’s Hideout venue, and is as an igniter on three tracks, where doomsday-like notions and a fast and furious chess match come to fruition. But Wooley and Lytton broadcast a myriad of heated developments. Through it all, Lytton’s snappy rhythms and Wooley’s fiery outbursts meld unusual tonal contrasts, brisk accentuations, and strangely ethereal sub-plots. In sum, the musicians project a symposium of fleeting thoughts and emotional upheavals while sustaining interest from beginning to end.

The New York City Jazz Record review by Kurt Gottschalk

CF 260Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori and Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
The British percussionist Paul Lytton and Oregon-raised, New Jersey-based trumpeter Nate Wooley, some 27 years his junior, have found a remarkable artistic sympathy in each other and have met with some fine successes as a result (check out either of their duo albums: 2007’s Untitled or 2009’s Creak Above 33). What holds them together, perhaps, is a shared fascination for the small sounds that their generally-loud instruments produce.

Such connections make for one of the most rewarding configurations in free improvisation: a duo with a well-articulated language joined by a third voice. That additional player might try to pick up the lingo or work against it, but either way the grounding is there. Lytton and Wooley have already recorded with David Grubbs (2007’s Seven Storey Mountain) and Christian Weber (2009’s Six Feet Under) and appeared on stage with many others. Now, with The Nows, the pair appears on disc with electronicist Ikue Mori and reedman Ken Vandermark.

With any other horn-and-drum duo, Mori might be left clutching at straws. The sounds that emanate from her laptop are usually soft and subtle and can belost against heavier-hitting players. But Lytton and Wooley deal in the macro focus, small sounds given great attention. In this recording, from a March 2011 set at The Stone, Mori sounds great, even something like a common denominator. Her blips work well with Lytton’s quick drum runs and her whooshes mesh nicely with Wooley’s trumpet flutters. At their best, the three sound very much like the inner workings of some unusual machine.

The second disc finds the pair joining forces with saxophonist Ken Vandermark, recorded two weeks later on his home turf at the Hideout in Chicago. It is, unsurprisingly, a louder, ‘jazzier’ set than the one with Mori, but still performed with attention to detail. Vandermark has a clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor and baritone saxophones in tow, so there’s a great diversity of detail as well. Both trios work well, but it’s nice that the first half of each disc is the duo alone. Getting to hear how the duo works before folding a third party in makes the listening all the richer.