Tag Archives: (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship

All About Jazz Italy review by Vincenzo Roggero

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne Of Friendship (CF 280)
Si respira aria di festa in (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship ultima fatica discografica del trombettista e compositore Nate Wooley. Si avverte quella sensazione un po’ démodé che solo il circo o il luna park sono in grado di offrire, tra momenti di eccitazione per le novità o per le mirabolanti avventure promesse, rassicuranti sensazioni dalle cose che non cambiano, profumi invitanti che sanno d’altri tempi.

La strumentazione è insolita con quattro strumenti dai registri gravi— clarinetto basso, sax baritono, tuba e contrabbasso—a fungere da liquido di contrasto per gli interventi lucenti del vibrafono e per le multiformi sembianze assunte dalla tromba del leader. L’ampio uso di tecniche estese passa inosservato rispetto alla miriade di sfumature che Wooley dissemina con sapienza e noncuranza, ai continui cambi di atmosfera, alle sorprese dispensate da una stanza degli specchi sonora deformante e bizzarra.

Tutto scivola via con naturalezza, come se una mano invisibile tirasse i fili dei singoli strumenti seguendo il ritmo della natura, assecondando irregolarità di percorso e cambi di umore. Wooley oltre che trombettista innovativo si rivela compositore non convenzionale e leader dalla forte personalità in grado di dar risalto alle peculiarità dei singoli in funzione di una chiara progettualità.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=46570#.UwYOb2J_suc

Jesús Gonzalo Best of 2013 list (Cuadernos de Jazz)

Las listas anuales son una especie de aduana por la que tienes que pasar sí o sí. Desconozco lo que sucede con detalle en otros géneros, pero si llegan a la mitad de lo que, en sólo cinco títulos, podemos resumir en el jazz, la música vive uno de sus mejores momentos…

No se engañen, la muerte de la música, del jazz, de la cultura, la crisis social, todo esto ha sucedido antes, desde el siglo XIV con el Ars Nova (luego lo retomamos) al XX con el dodecafonismo o el mismo free jazz, y ya con la Segunda Guerra Mundial ni hablamos… Otra cosa es ese pequeño e incómodo obstáculo (inaudito en los países avanzados) del 21% gravando la cultura…

Cierto, el (anti)Festival de Jazz de Madrid sirve de modelo de (indi)gestión e ilustra el tono gris marengo que va adquiriendo la capital, salvo por los museos… A evitar. Por contra, en Andalucía (ya saben, esa tierra de oportunidades “señaladas”) se reflota uno internacional y se pone en marcha otro. En otro sentido, se confirma una tendencia de mercado. Sin la cobertura del tejido público, los clubes españoles son los que promueven jazz en directo. Ellos ponen las condiciones (…) y es legítimo que no arriesguen dinero. Las propuestas más avanzadas son las más perjudicadas en esta coyuntura. Si esto sigue así, a finales de 2014 se hablará -ya mismo- de un nuevo renacimiento del flamenco-jazz…

La lista de discos, en qué estaría yo pensando… A ver, cinco, ¿no? Vale, pues, como el año pasado, pondré sencillamente los que más he escuchado, que se supone son los que más me han gustado. El orden no importa. Abro y cierro con dos publicaciones de Clean Feed, ya saben, música mu moerna.

CINCO DISCOS
(Sit in) The Throne of Friendship; Nate Wooley Sextet (Clean Feed)
The Transylvanian Concert; Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri (ECM)
Woman Child; Cécile McLorin Salvant (Mack Avenue)
A Mirror to Machaut; Samuel Blaser Consort in Motion- (Songlines)
Hammered;Ches Smith and These Arches (Clean Feed)
CF 280Nate Wooley – (Sit in) The Throne of Friendship
Nate Wooley, no se crean, entrega un disco que facilita un montón de ángulos de visión sobre la actualidad y algunos prismas para entender el pasado (años 60) con un septeto atípico, en línea con el Canada Day del aquí también protagonista a la batería Harris Eisenstadt. En realidad el grupo gira como quinteto, y esta primavera lo harán por Europa, pero no, no pasarán por aquí. Con Wooley han sido tres los trompetistas destacados este año. Ralph Alessi con Baida, cuenta con el apoyo mediático de ECM que no ha tenido Kirk Knuffke con Chorale en SteepleChase (Russ Lossing, Michael Formanek y Billy Hart), a mi gusto mejor disco, menos frío y programático que el debut de Alessi y su supergrupo en el sello de Eicher.

Alemania… ECM acaparando mercado en tiempo de crisis, haciéndose con lo más interesante de la escena neoyorquina. Desembarcos recientes como los de Tim Berne (entregó segundo Snakeoil), Michael Formanek, luego Craig Taborn (podría estar en la lista su Chants a trío), ahora para este año, y quitándoselo a ACT, Vijay Iyer es la nueva estrella ECM. ¿Y qué me dicen del frustrado (quizá por su ambición) trabajo de Chris Potter o del estimulante cuarteto neoyorquino (pasa temporadas allí) de Tomasz Stanko? ¿Y del regreso del trío de Keith Jarrett? Somewhere… sometime… in another time… A mí el que me ha sorprendido, siendo mucho más modesto, es el Transylvanian Concert de Lucian Ban y Mat Maneri (venían del proyecto sobre George Enesco), una invitación a soñar con un encuentro entra la música de cámara europea y el protojazz, entre finales del XIX y principios del XX, con matices de folclore (blues o centroeuropeo) e improvisación contemporánea, Duke Ellington y Busoni, Ran Blake cuando el piano se pone sombrío.

Eso me recuerda, y lo pongo en el lector de cedés, los maravillosos duetos que hizo Blake con Anthony Braxton y Enrico Rava, recupérenlos. Ha sido un año de excelentes dúos… Ahora mismo sale el de Angélica Sánchez con Wadada Leo Smith. En diciembre lo hizo el de nuestro (in)combustible contemporáneo, Agustí Fernández, con Ken Vandermark; pero antes fueron los de Mark Feldman y Sylvie Courvoisier, Marilyn Crispell y Gary Peacock (escuchen ambos) o los más especiales de Matt Mitchell con Ches Smith y Myra Melford con Ben Goldberg. 2013, año de la pareja…

ACONTECIMIENTO, NOTICIA…
CF 253En la lista del 2012 destacaba un disco cuyo proyecto he tenido ocasión de ver en directo. El quinteto de cámara electroacústico Particula del portugués -de Oporto- Hugo Carvalhais. Es un concepto que se desarrolla con gran plasticidad y juego cromático a varios niveles descriptivos, basándose en la creación del Cosmos, en el espacio, el silencio y en sus partículas elementales o celestes. Mucho menos sutil, o si lo prefieren con otra “sutileza” más gruesa, es “la cosa” que The Thing XXL (ocho músicos haciendo barbaridades, entre ellos Peter Evans) puso en órbita -más bien arrasó- Lisboa el pasado agosto. ¿Ruido? No, punk marciano… Hablando de dos miembros de The Thing, renovado sonido el de ese engranaje orgánico y cerebral llamado Atomic en There Is a Hole in the Mountain, que pasaron por Madrid y Barcelona.

No soy un avezado lector de poesía, y menos la que tiene ver con el jazz, excepto por la obra de Langston Hughes y la “neoyorquina” de GarcíaPortada: Jazz. Nueva York en los locos años 20 Lorca. Con Fruta Extraña (Fundación José Manuel Lara, edición Vandalia), el profesor de literatura inglesa y norteamericana Juan Ignacio Guijarro selecciona 130 autores españoles y una creación inspirada en el jazz a lo largo de casi un siglo. Una antología que ha sido todo un regalo. Y pese a las críticas que ha recibido, sigo defendiendo Jazz, Nueva York en los locos años 20 (Taschen), pues no se trata de un sesudo ensayo, no es su pretensión; la suya es ilustrar una época y servir de precioso objeto divulgativo. Si quieren un trabajo comparado, mejor El Canon del Jazz (Turner) de Ted Gioa, y verán más abiertas la puertas del periodo neoclásico que se avecina.

A mí se me abrieron de par en par, y reconozco que lo he disfrutado, con el trabajo desenfadado y brillante, con regusto clásico y atrevido de Cécile McLorin Salvant. Con ese apellido y cierta refinación afrancesada, el sur del jazz, Nueva Orleans, está conquistado. A medio camino entre la voz de Sippie Wallace y Sarah Vaughan, la esencia y la refinación que ofrece Woman Child (atención al pianista Aron Diehl) es el mejor antídoto para dejar atrás el 2013. Desde Nueva York, donde fue nominado por la crítica entre los mejores de la temporada, despidió Samuel Blaser el año reformulando su cuarteto y fundando un nuevo proyecto J.A.S.S (John Hollenbeck, Alban Darche, Sebastian Boisseau y él). Con la segunda entrega de Consort in Motion, A Mirror to Machaut, y al margen de acercamientos retóricos que restan personalidad a una obra emancipada, el trombonista suizo descubre nuevos ámbitos de interpretación y composición sobre la música antigua de entre épocas, antes fue el prebarroco de madrigales y ahora la polifonía gótica.

CF 270Ches Smith and Thse Arches – Hammered
Ches SmithPara terminar con mi lista, Ches Smith & These Arches en Hammered, el segundo trabajo de un grupo que aumenta con un miembro más (Tim Berne) y que ya destaqué el año pasado. Se trata de un sonido nuevo y avanzado, de una vanguardia underground que conecta pop-rock, free jazz y composición contemporánea, fronteras de estilo que están mucho más cerca que la distancia que ponen ente ellos los aficionados más conservadores de estas corrientes. Una dimensión nueva (Berne, Malaby, Halvorson, Parkins, Smith) del trío de Ellery Eskelin con Jim Black y, claro, Andrea Parkins. Un disco que hace vudú con las fronteras de estilo, aunque baste mirar la escena en la que se mueve para entender qué músicos son los únicos capaces de hacer esto (que no lo intenten otros).

Ah, lo olvidaba, y John Zorn, el “enfant terrible”, cumplió 60 años… No sé si se dedicará a publicar discos de celebración como cuando cumplió 50… Creo que no. Lo que cambia todo en diez años…
http://www.cuadernosdejazz.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2911:opinan-los-criticos-jesus-gonzalo&catid=10:general&Itemid=11

Peter Margasak’s Best of 2013 list (Chicago Reader)

My favorite albums of 2013, numbers ten through one

10. Craig Taborn Trio, Chants (ECM)
Perhaps the most versatile, mercurial pianist in jazz, Craig Taborn delivers another stunning statement. He’s led his fantastic trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Gerald Cleaver since 2007, and you can hear that shared history in how thoroughly Taborn and his bandmates seem to have internalized the material on Chants. His shape-shifting compositions add to the fluid complexity of the songs—despite their many interlocking parts, they never feel halting or mechanical, and their constant destabilizing motion is offset by meticulous construction that allows each player great improvisational latitude.

9. Bill Callahan, Dream River (Drag City)
Bill Callahan has long been the most taciturn of songwriters, and he’s gained strength by paring down his music. On this austere effort he grapples with the most basic concerns of this life we’re stuck in, combining sparsely strummed, phase-treated electric guitar, lean grooves on bass and percussion (which often consists only of congas or claves), extrapolations and interjections by guitarist Matt Kinsey, and occasional embellishments of sweet flute or mournful fiddle. His songs remain mostly cryptic, but that said, they’ve never been so forthright—it’s not hard to arrive at the meaning of the ballad “Small Plane,” which uses flying an aircraft as a tender metaphor for devotion and trust (“Sometimes when you sleep while I take us home / That’s when I know / We really have a home”).

8. Pandelis Karayorgis, Circuitous (Driff)
Great Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis made this quintet record in Chicago with a killer local band, though bassist Nate McBride has since moved back the leader’s hometown. The group also includes Frank Rosaly on drums and an excellent yin-yang pair of saxophonists, Dave Rempis and Keefe Jackson. Karayorgis has discussed the fact that he used the classic Tony Williams album Spring as a model for the instrumentation here, but the sound is all his own, with punchy, angular tunes, a wide dynamic range (from soft rustling to juddering blasts), and ingenious arrangements that color in the oblique melodies and provide plenty of suspense. As strong as the solos are throughout the record, I almost enjoy the composed sections most.

Rokia Traore, Beautiful Africa (Nonesuch)
Malian singer Rokia Traore is one of the most instinctive, original musicians working in African traditions. In the past she’s brought a surprisingly effective softness and finesse to her work, adding a delicate folk flair that owed as much to Joni Mitchell as to Baaba Maal, but on her latest album she radically shiftsd gears, working with British producer John Parish, a guy best known for his long association with P.J. Harvey. Backed by malleable British kit drummer Seb Rochford and biting electric guitars (played by Italian experimentalist Stefano Pilia, among others), Traore switches easily to a hectoring attack, singing in Bambara, French, and English, offering pointed observations on Africa’s troubles but also expressing unswerving love of her homeland. She brings infectious, electrifying conviction to every gesture.

6. Alasdair Roberts & Friends, A Wonder Working Stone (Drag City)
Alasdair Roberts’s masterful mix of British folk and modern folk-rock puts him in the company of groundbreaking syncretists such as Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span—another way of saying that, despite great work from the likes of Waterson: Carthy and the Unthanks, nobody in the past decade or so has done nearly as much to advance the cause of British Isles folk as this Scotsman. His excellent liner notes break down the sources for his original spins on timeless folk conventions—both their story lines and the influential versions that inspired him—and many pieces combine his own tunes with thematically linked traditional songs in seamless medleys about death, sex, desire, or history that make the century of their origin irrelevant.

5. Fredrik Ljungkvist Yun Kan 10, Ten (Hoob Jazz)
Best known as the protean yet thoughtful reedist and compositional voice in Scandinavian quintet Atomic, Sweden’s Fredrik Ljungkvist turns to this agile ten-piece band to reveal another side of his music. Though improvisation is a key ingredient in Yun Kan 10, the ten pieces on Ten’s two discs rely much more on notated music and elaborate, contrapuntal arrangements. The wordless singing of Sofia Jernberg, who gave a knockout performance as part of Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Seval at the Cultural Center in November, dances with the deft front line—Ljungkvist’s saxophones, Mats Äleklint’s rubbery trombone, and Katt Hernandez’s violin—while the springy-then-clattery propulsion comes from twin drummers Jon Fält and Raymond Strid, bassist Mattias Welin, and tuba player Per Åke-Holmlander. It’s like nothing else I heard in 2013.

4. Richard Dawson, The Glass Trunk (Richie’s Own Label)
No album hit me out of the blue like this epic project from English singer and guitarist Richard Dawson. I only discovered The Glass Trunk toward the year’s end, but once I heard it, the music wouldn’t release its grip. Terse improvised exchanges between Dawson’s lacerating electric guitar and the amplified harp of improviser Rhodri Davies alternate with a cappella vocal pieces whose lyrics are derived from materials Dawson found in the holdings of Newcastle’s Tyne & Wear Archives and Museum. He built gorgeous yet bruising melodies for narratives borrowed from or inspired by personal correspondence, yellowed scrapbooks, and old photographs—they have all the tragedy, romance, and yearning of the best British folk music, from which Dawson’s vocals take their inspiration.

3. Robbie Fulks, Gone Away Backward (Bloodshot)
There are many good living songwriters. But then you hear a new Robbie Fulks record, and you can’t remember who they are. Most of the songs on Gone Away Backwards meditate on small-town life, but without the hokum that usually infects Nashville’s treatments of the subject. In a just world, Alan Jackson or George Strait would hit number one with “That’s Where I’m From,” a story that counts You Can’t Go Home Again among its ancestors—the narrator splits town and does his darnedest to build a life of his own, only to realize after it’s too late that the community he left defines who he is. While it may not show off Fulks’s full range, this album is the most focused, meaningful, and beautiful recording he’s ever made, with his best singing yet.

CF 2802. Nate Wooley Sextet, (Sit In) the Throne of Friendship (Clean Feed)
New York trumpeter Nate Wooley is well regarded for his command of extended technique, unexpected free-improv gambits, and rigorous experimental projects. But here he delves into his roots in jazz—a sensibility that always lurks in his playing, but that he’s never before given such a glorious platform. Though Wooley certainly employs free-jazz vocabulary, both in certain voicings and in his judicious solos, the eight original compositions here develop from the excellent arrangements he crafted for this nimble ensemble—reedist Josh Sinton, tuba player Dan Peck, vibraphonist Matt Moran, bassist Eivind Opsvik, and drummer Harris Eisenstadt. The line between composition and improvisation is impossible to trace—they go hand in glove as the music moves from elegant swing to raucous throwdowns. Perhaps it’s due to the key role given Peck’s tuba, but the timbre of the music makes me feel like this is Wooley’s answer to Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool. It doesn’t sound much like that record, but its meticulous, orchestral opulence achieves the same kind of feeling.

1. Julia Holter, Loud City Song (Domino)
With her third album, Los Angeles composer Julia Holter has found her sweet spot, balancing the songcraft of prerock popular music with daring arrangements and found sounds that reflect her background in experimental music. As much as I love her two previous albums, Tragedy and Ekstasis, Loud City Song is a huge leap past them. Her writing is stronger, her melodies are more sophisticated, her singing is much better, and in contrast with the first two records (which she made by herself) she’s joined by a stellar cast of sympathetic, agile musicians. It felt like a classic out of time from the first moment I heard it, and its gorgeous harmonies and solid tunefulness have only grown more resonant since. For her next record I imagine Holter won’t refine this sound but move onto to some new mode, and I can’t wait to hear what it is.
http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2014/01/10/my-favorite-albums-of-2013-numbers-ten-through-one

Robert Bush’s best of 2013 list (All About Jazz)

2013 proved to be another banner year for recorded jazz—so much wonderful music—no one could argue that this is a dying art form. These ten recordings stood out in particular.

CF 279Mark Dresser – Nourishments (Clean Feed)

Keith Jarrett – Somewhere (ECM)

Wadada Leo Smith – Occupy The World (TUM)

 

CF 280Nate Wooley – Sit In The Throne Of Friendship (clean feed)

Lucian Ban, Mat Maneri – Transylvanian Concert (ECM)

Mary Halvorson – Illusionary Sea (Firehouse 12)

Michael Formanek – Small Places (ECM)

CF 270Ches Smith – Hammered (Clean Feed)

Tim Berne – Shadow Man (ECM)

Michael Vlatkovich – You’re too dimensional (pfMENTUM)
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=46159#.Us54H9JdUud

Downbeat review by Peter Margasak

Few trumpeters find and develop disparate contexts and projects as assiduously as Nate Wooley, a fiercely original and curious horn player who straddles the divide between jazz and abstract improvisation as if it was a mere crack in the sidewalk. These two new recordings capture him in wildly different settings, for which he masterfully calibrates his sound and approach to suit the needs of each, yet  his personality shines through on both.

CF 282Nate Wooley/Peter Evans/Jim Black/Paul Lytton – Trumpets and Drums: Live in Ljubljana (CF 282)
****
Live in Ljubljana is a fully improvised quartet set that puts him in the company of two of his most trusted duo partners: fellow trumpeter Peter Evans and drummer Paul Lytton. Drummer Jim Black, a regular member of the quintet led by Evans, rounds out the Trumpets and Drums quartet. For the majority of the album’s two lengthy pieces, wryly titled “Beginning” and “End,” the horn players dig into their huge bags of extended technique, blowing sibilant growls, unpitched breaths, machine-like sputters, brittle whinnies, and more. But rather that come off as a predictable catalog of sounds, the pair reveal a stunning connection, playing off one another with rare empathy and ensemble-oriented focus. But the bond between Wooley and Evans is hardly the only connection at work here. Lytton and Black contribute a veritable thicket of frictive clatter and percolating chaos, but never at the sake of forward propulsion.

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) the Throne of Friendship (CF 280)
****
(Sit In) the Throne of Friendship was recorded with a dazzling, resourceful sextet. The disc not only shows off Wooley’s deep jazz roots on demonstrates his startling growth as a composer and arranger. The album opens with a sparkling adaptation of Randy Newman’s “Old Man on the Farm,” setting the tone with some bracing multi-linear improvisation between himself, reedist Josh Sinton, and tuba player Dan Peck. Wooley deftly scurries between clarion-toned lines that suggest the influence of Dave Douglas, especially the half-valved fluidity, and the scuffed, striated sounds generated with extended technique, fitting both aesthetics into the flow of his compositions. Wooley’s multipartite tunes make exceptional use of his scrappy ensemble, giving them a deceptive orchestral quality. While there’s little about this session that sounds like Birth of the Cool, the agility of Peck reminds me of Bill Barber’s smooth, dominant presence on that Miles Davis classic, while the sometimes shimmering, sometimes dissonant vibraphone lines of Matt Moran adds an additional layer of cool to the proceedings.

Wooley’s tunes are packed with attractive melodies that wind and wend though ever-shifting timbres thanks to inventive, rich arrangements that keep the sonic landscape in constant motion. There are plenty of solos here, but there’s no blowing over cycling forms. Wooley’s technical imagination and mastery of jazz fundamentals has been established already, but this new sextet effort definitely adds notches to his belt.

Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne Of Friendship (CF 280)
****½
Music fans who are familiar with Nate Wooley’s latest releases will be surprised to hear the other side of the trumpeter’s musical vision, one that is less focused on sound and technique, but more on composition and arrangements, and with equal success I must say.

The band is actually an extension of Wooley’s quintet that released “(Put Your) Hands Together”, with tuba-player Dan Peck as the new member, next to Wooley on trumpet, Josh Sinton on bass clarinet and baritone saxophone, Matt Moran on vibes, Eivind Opsvik on bass, and Harris Eisenstadt on drums.

The music is as inventive and varied as on the first album, yet taking even a step further, making it more memorable in that sense, maybe more complex, more compelling, with solos that just go a notch deeper and stronger, in such a way that you want to listen again and again, because even if all sounds are quite easy to get into, and are welcoming and warm from the first listen, the compositions and arrangements develop in unpredictable ways, with lots of tempo and rhythm changes within each track, making it an almost mandatory gesture to push on the start button again, just to make sure you understood what was happening, and especially how it all fits together and how it works out so nicely.

The album opens with the magnificent theme of “Old Man On The Farm”, so beautiful and moving, that you wonder whether this is truly Wooley you’re listening to, but then the theme collapses in absolute free improvisation with great duets between trumpet and bass clarinet, spiralling upwards, in absolute frenzy, then move back into the unison theme with Swiss clock precision.

The album also gives us a grand tour of jazz history, with boppish moments as on the second track, “Make Your Friend Feel Loved”, on which Dan Peck plays a lead role, with deep intro growls from his tuba gradually picking up rhythm, Eisenstadt and Moran joining soon, then Wooley Sinton Opsvik bring the theme, things change into hesitant stalling chords, going nowhere at all like a track stand in cycling, full of built-up tension, only to be released by a boppish “walking tuba” underpinning for a great solo by Wooley, full of joy and anger at the same time, things come to a halt again, the theme resurfaces and Sinton shouts through his baritone for his solo part.

“The Berries” offers Moran the stage for a long solo moment in between a jubliant unison theme that is fun although somewhat too mellow for my taste.

Things get better again with “Plow”, with odd thematic counterpoints as beacons in an otherwise open-ended structure, with solos for Opsvik  in the first part, and some weird trialogue between trumpet, vibes and bass clarinet in the second.

“Executive Suites” is a strange animal, with changing themes, rhythms and moods even, varying between funny and solemn, with complex arrangements and sudden surprises.

“My Story My Story” is a melancholy piece that starts rhythm-less with muted trumpet tones over slow vibes which sound like church bells in the distance, and with bass and tuba adding darkness in the lower tones, over slowly changing ascending chord changes, then halfway an explicit slow blues emerges with Wooley unmuting his horn, playing some astonishing fully voiced multiphonics, then sounding like Lester Bowie in “The Great Pretender”, heartrending and deeply emotional.

“Sweet And Sad Consistency”, has a contemplative beginning which evolves into a stomping uptempo 7/8 juggernaut with Sinton blowing some hair-raising howls out of his baritone sax, in stark contrast to Wooley’s warm introduction, while bass and drums are more of the headbanging kind, but when the band is at full throttle, the thing stops for some side conversation of the low volume kind, all this in sharp contradiction with the track’s title.

The album ends with “A Million Billion BTUs”, a composition built around several themes, one more sweeping, the other interestingly accelerating, with changes of tempo throughout and great solo space for Wooley, Sinton and Moran.

So, now listen to this album, and again and again. To describe it in a few words is hard, as you can understand from the above, but here is a try : a warm and heartfelt album, full of inventive compositions, building on various elements of jazz tradition, yet moving it a step further into the future, performed with superb musicianship and equally warm and tight interplay.

Play it again!
http://www.freejazzblog.org/

The New York City Jazz Record review by Stuart Broomer

CF 282Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández/Nate Wooley – From the Discrete to the Particular (Relative Pitch)
Nate Wooley/Peter Evans/Jim Black/Paul Lytton – Trumpets and Drums (Live in Ljubljana) (CF 282)
Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship (CF 280)
CF 280Nate Wooley is among a group of distinguished younger trumpeters redefining the sonic possibilities of the instrument. More than that though, he combines both rare invention and rare taste across a stylistic range that stretches from free improvisation to his own version of postbop.

The trio of Wooley, guitarist Joe Morris and pianist Agustí Fernández that appears on From the Discrete to the Particular has its antecedents in Morris’ prior duos with Wooley and Fernández. It’s free improvisation of the first rank, with each of the seven pieces a developed musical dialogue defining its own timbres and shape, whether it’s the pointillist sputters of the opening “Automatos”, the flurries of discrete sounds that firstmark “As Expected” or the oblique harmonic language of “Bilocation” that flowers into an evanescent lyricism created by all three musicians. “Membrane” suggests an early John Cage prepared piano sonata extended to a collective. The longest pieces, “Hieratic” and “Chumsof Chance”, are works of transformation, whether Morris sounding like the interior of a piano on the former and a bowed cello on the latter; Fernández mounting a virtuosic keyboard assault or creating a resonant soundscape or Wooley drawing out pained multiphonics or assembling wild scratching sounds.

Trumpets and Drums (Live in Ljubljana) is a dialogue between the two fundamental sonic components of the title. If there’s a martial tradition to trumpet and drum music there’s also a mystical one, as with Joshua and the battle of Jericho, but stronger still in the Tibetan Buddhist ritual music that combines long bass trumpets with metal and skin percussion. The quartet is built on several developed affinities: Wooley has long-running duos with both fellow trumpeter Peter Evans and drummer Paul Lytton; Evans has played with Lytton as a guest with the Parker-Guy-Lytton trio and Jim Black has played drums in Evans’ quartet. The performance is divided into two long segments, entitled “Beginning” and “End” and within those parameters there are moments of near silence, whispered trumpet tones and air through horns, gentle percussive rattlings, eerie scrapes and rustlings that demand rapt attention. Quavering electronics might arise from Wooley’s amplifier or from Black’s expanded kit. Elsewhere the reare moments of incendiary power, elemental music focused on mysteries of intensity and pitch.

The Nate Wooley Sextet is a variation on the Quintet that recorded 2010’s (Put Your) Hands Together. A forum for Wooley’s compositions, (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship retains bass clarinetist/baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, vibraphonist Matt Moran and drummer Harris Eisenstadt while bassist Eivind Opsvik either alternates with newly arrived tuba player Dan Peck or they appear together. The style suggests the Blue Note ‘free’ school and the simultaneous presence of vibraphone and bass clarinet emphasizes the Eric Dolphy influence (“Make Your Friend Feel Loved” seems to reference Dolphy’s “G.W.”). This is exploratory, varied music, alive with passion and dialogue. It’s also exuberant, whether Sinton shouting through his baritone or Peck crafting an unaccompanied introduction. While Wooley is as ‘athome’ with free improvisation as any musician, the forms here emphasize the expressiveness of his lines: on the mournful “My Story, My Story” he combines variations of pitch and inflection to achieve an emotional depth equal to that of Miles Davis or Don Cherry, rare terrain for any trumpeter.