AMN Reviews: Nate Wooley – Argonautica [ Firehouse 12 Records FH12-04-01-023 ]


Trumpeter, composer, and improviser Nate Wooley has performed regularly as a sideman with many of the leading musicians on the New York new music scene including icons such as Anthony Braxton and John Zorn. He has also collaborated with many of the brightest of his generation such as Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson. Embracing noise and drone aesthetics, Wooley’s unique approach to the trumpet is a combination of standard techniques, vocalization, extreme extended techniques and amplification. But Nate Wooley is not just another iconoclast; he is a curator, a writer, an editor and an explorer of all things sonic and musical. Check out his online quarterly journal Sound American  or his Database of Recorded American Music .

Argonautica is an ambitious work that takes its name from the ancient Greek epic poem which depicts the adventure of Jason and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece. The piece is in three parts with an introduction and scored for three pairs of instruments – trumpets, pianos and drums. This allows for various duos and trios to work together or separately as they explore the material. Wooley conceived the piece as a tribute to his mentor Ron Miles whom performs on this recording. Argonuatica opens with a “solo” from the trumpets. Here Wooley and Miles demonstrate their individual approaches to the instrument with Miles’s lyrical cornet to Wooley’s rougher more extended trumpet voice. This seeming opposition remains with all of the pairs of instruments – the acoustic piano of Cory Smythe paired with the Fender-Rhodes and electronics of Jozef Dumoulin and the free jazz drumming of Devin Gray with the more spirited precision of Rudy Royston. The pairs move from contrast to opposition to complement as the material is explored. There are written or scored elements that are precisely performed, followed by more open sections used by the performers to develop the material as they navigate to the next scored element giving this forty three minute piece a very organic feel. There is a continuous build up from sparse to dense, from slower to faster as various duos and trios emerge until the piece ends in a shattering climax.

Wooley cites the oblique influence of things like ambient tape music, dodecaphony, jazz-rock and the minimalist rock of Terry Riley.  With Argonautica he raises the question “… is this what jazz-rock can be in the twenty-first century?” However, do not take this to mean that Argonautica is “fusion” or sounds like any of these influences. To quote Wooley: “It’s easy sometimes to confuse being inspired by something with adhering to its principles.”

Argonautica is a solid piece of contemporary creative music performed by exceptional musicians. It is beautifully recorded and mixed. In addition to the MP3 and CD versions there is also a high-resolution audio mix available (would love to hear that). If you are not already a Nate Wooley fan then this recording is very likely to make you one.

Highly Recommended!

For more information:

Chris De Chiara

Seattle Scene: November 10-19, 2016

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)

Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Dialectical Imagination + C. Pincock
Thu. Nov. 10, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Dialectical Imagination is the bi-coastal duo of pianist Eli Wallace and percussionist Rob Pumpelly. Their music is a unique embrace of the composition/improvisation paradox. Seattle trombonist Christian Pincock leads a small group of musicians using Soundpainting, the internationally-practiced sign language for live composition or conducted improvisation.

Satchel Henneman
Fri. Nov. 11, 7:30 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Satchel Henneman premieres six new works by young Northwest composers for classical guitar, electric guitar, guitar and computer, chamber music, prepared guitar and dance: Frog Perspectives by Lucas Winter; Quitters by Adam Briggs; Ouroboros by Marguerite Brown; 29 by Amelia Coulter; Had Happened by Ruby Dunphy; and a dance work by Allison Burke.

Michael Vlatkovich & Friends
Sat. Nov. 12, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

LA trombonist Michael Vlatkovich approaches his music for the 21st century from an oblique angle. His stints in LA Latin bands (where he’s known as “El Rey”) and with Brian Setzer’s Big Band have left him with an affectionately sardonic take on jazz ensemble writing. One hears flashes of this twirling by like three-eyed koi in a pond. He’s joined by Jim Knodle (trumpet), Greg Campbell (percussion), Yves Chartuest (sax).

THU. 11/17 – Josh Medina & Paurl Walsh celebrate their new album on Debacle Records

FRI. 11/18 – Further Records presents DIAD + Contact Cult with visuals by KillingFrenzy

SAT. 11/19 – butoh dancer Vanessa Skantze with percussionist Greg Campbell and clarinettist/vocalist Beth Fleenor

November at the Spectrum

Source: New York’s Spectrum.

– Joel Forrester: Jazz Piano & Book Launch for An Adventure in the Real Life of Thor (Nov. 10)
Special Guests: Michi Fuji, Lindsey Horner, Matt Garrity & Glenn Cornett

– Irena Portenko (USA/Ukraine) & Nargiza Yusupova (Germany/Uzbekistan) (Nov. 10)

– The Manhattan Review Reading Series: Poetry Reading with Tim Liardet, D. Nurkse, Jennifer Militello & Anja Konig (Nov. 11)

– James Haddad Quintet (Nov. 11)

– Gemini: Flute/percussion duo (Nov. 12)

Michael Vincent Waller (Nov. 12)

– Piano Salon with Imri Talgam (Nov. 13)

– Jason Hardink (Nov. 13)

– Tentative: Rage Thrombones! Weston Olencki & Matt Barbier (Nov. 14)

– Bassoon Bonanza: Brad Balliett & Billy Short (Nov. 15)

– gnarwhallaby: Heterophonic Avant-Garde (L.A.) (Nov. 16)

– Pas Musique presents Ambient Chaos (Nov. 17)

– Hans Tammen’s Dark Circuits Series feat. Jonas Bers (Nov. 18)

– Friday Night Jazz: Canyons with Flin Van Hemmen (Nov. 18)

– Artu Duo: Garret Ross & Ruth Marshall (Nov. 19)

– centrozoon trio (Berlin): Markus Reuter, Bernhard Wöstheinrich and Tobias Reber (Nov. 19)

– Ramin Arjomand’s Reinterpretations Series (Nov. 20)

– Guy Barash’s Eavesdropping Series feat. (h)artDrive electric guitar duo of Nadav Lev & Giacomo Baldelli (Nov. 20)

– Chamber Music of Dré Hocevar (Nov. 26)

– Teodora Stepančić (Nov. 27)

Spectrum is located at 121 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side. Tickets are generally $15; $10 for students and seniors except where indicated.

5049 Records Podcast Episode 89: Bruce Lee Gallanter 

Source: 5049 Records.

Since the late 1970s, Bruce Lee Gallanter has been a crucial figure on the Downtown scene. As an archivist/historian, Bruce was there for the very first New York concerts of artists like John Zorn, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell & Eugene Chadbourne. An early supporter of artists who went on to change the world, Bruce has been running Downtown Music Gallery, perhaps the most important shop for improvised and creative music in the world, for the past twenty six years. For this conversation, Bruce and I go back to his hometown roots in New Jersey to the early days at Studio Henry, all the way up to the present.

Musique Machine Reviews

Source: Musique Machine.

Controlled Bleeding – Distress Signals II
Francesca(DVD, Blu Ray, CD) – Francesca(DVD, Blu Ray, CD)
Small Hours – Whisper, I love You
ANTIChildLEAGUE – Holy Ghost
Cannibal Ritual/ Dead Body Collection – Split
Tissa Mawartyassari – Los Muerlos
Dosis Letalis – Just A Cogs In The System
Edgar Allan Poe – The Raven
Ricardo Remédio – Natureza Morta
Biosphere – Departed Glories



November 6, 2016
Charming Hostess with Strings, Barbès
Jewlia Eisenberg Megan Gould Marika Hughes Mazz Swift Karen Waltuch

November 5, 2016
Nate Wooley & Joe Morris, IBeam
Joe Morris Nate Wooley

November 5, 2016
Dre Hocevar Surface of Inscription, IBeam
Bernardo Barros Dre Hocevar Charmaine Lee Elias Stemeseder

November 3, 2016
Carlo Costa Solo, Halyards
Carlo Costa

November 3, 2016
Hery Paz Quintet, Halyards
Robin Baytas Gustavo D’Amico Henrique Einsenmann Hery Paz Andrew Schiller