AMN Reviews: Nate Wooley “Columbia Icefield” [Northern SPY NS 112]

Inspired by the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains trumpeter Nate Wooley set out to explore “ … large structures that have a feeling of being really large and slightly disturbing, but also, natural, … it’s not an attack on our senses. We understand it.”  On “Columbia Icefield” Wooley’s amplified trumpet is joined by drummer Ryan Sawyer, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn and guitarist Mary Halverson. The three compositions on “Columbia Icefield” while unique in content and form seem to share an overall point of view or perhaps mood. The recording itself also contributes to this overall mood. The album’s mix beautifully exploits the stereo field to project a big and open sound that still seems close and intimate.

The album opens with “Lionel Trilling”, a piece that seems like it would make a great soundtrack for a journey by train to visit the ice field. The piece slowly builds up from very deliberate but somewhat overlapping melodic and rhymical patterns on the guitars. The interplay between Halverson and Alcorn is very tight and balanced. These patterns could be imagined as representing the sounds of the train. They are eventually joined by other patterns played by the drums along with the very effective use of the amplified trumpet as percussion. This builds up over time but not in a sentimental or obvious way.  The train continues to climb till out of nowhere ethereal voices arrive and the mood abruptly changes.  They have arrived and set out to explore the expanse in a floating dialogue. This gives way to a new section of contrapuntal questions and episodic improvisations till it is time to leave and then we get back on the train to return to where the journey began.

“Seven in the Woods” is a piece where its shape slowly forms over time. It begins as an abstraction of what it will become with a slow counterpoint of melodic fragments between the guitars and muted trumpet. When the drums finally enter it tries to subvert the developing shape with march like rhythmic attacks. Eventually the drums give in and all of this abstraction crystallizes into a soulful melodic hymn accompanied by beautiful brush work from the drums. The piece then moves through a series of wonderful moments with solos from each of the musicians. Eventually it begins to fall back apart but is interrupted by the guitars with chiming church bell chords that slowly fade away.

The last piece “With Condolences” starts slowly and quietly but as the sonic conversation grows it becomes more and more animated over time. As it builds up into a chatter, spoken word lyrics emerge and push it back into a more reflective instrumental conversation that slowly winds itself down.

The playing by each of the musicians on “Columbia Icefield” is nothing short of outstanding. I hope that Nate Wooley is able to do a lot more recording with this particular group. As an ensemble they demonstrate real chemistry. Make no mistake “Columbia Icefield” is a great album. So, do your ears a favor and spend some quiet time listening to “Columbia Icefield”.

Highly Recommended!

Chris De Chiara

Mulhouse Music Festival: August 21 -25

PROGRAMME FESTIVAL MÉTÉO 2018
LE PROGRAMME COMPLET EST EN LIGNE || FULL PROGRAM IS ONLINE

MARDI 21 AOÛT 2018
* PÜK (Vincent Posty, Cécile Thévenot, Benoit Kilian)
* KEITH TIPPETT SOLO
* DAVID MURRAY “INFINITY 4TET” feat. SAUL WILLIAMS (David Murray, Saul Williams, Jaribu Shahid, Orrin Evans, Nasheet Waits)

MERCREDI 22 AOÛT 2018
* PETER EVANS SOLO
* STREIFENJUNKO (Eivind Lønning, Espen Reinertsen)
* JEAN-PHILIPPE GROSS & AXEL DÖRNER
* MICHIYO YAGI SOLO
* AHMED (Pat Thomas, Joel Grip, Seymour Wright, Antonin Gerbal)
* NIMMERSATT feat. JON ROSE (Daan Vandewalle, Chris Cutler, John Greaves, Jon Rose)

JEUDI 23 AOÛT 2018
* PASCAL NIGGENKEMPER SOLO
* SOFIA JERNBERG & METTE RASMUSSEN
* NICOLE MITCHELL SOLO
* SYSTÈME FRICHE II “LE CHANT DES PISTES” (Xavier Charles, Jacques Di Donato, Félicie Bazelaire, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Benjamin Duboc, Isabelle Duthoit, eRikm, Franz Hautzinger, Simon Henocq, Soizic Lebrat, Bruno Maurice, Roméro Monteiro, Nicolas Nageotte, Alfred Spirli, Thierry Waziniack)
* MICHIYO YAGI & TONY BUCK
* SENYAWA (Rully Shabara, Wukir Suryadi)

VENDREDI 24 AOÛT 2018
* JON ROSE SOLO
* WOLFGANG MITTERER “GRAND JEU 2” (for organ and electronics)
* SPLITTER ORCHESTER & JEAN-LUC GUIONNET “VOLLBILD” (Jean-Luc Guionnet, Liz Allbee, Boris Baltschun, Burkhard Beins, Anthea Caddy, Axel Dörner, Kai Fagaschinski, Robin Hayward, Steve Heather, Anat Cohavi, Mario de Vega, Chris Heenan, Magda Mayas, Mike Majkowski, Matthias Müller, Andrea Neumann, Morten J. Olsen, Simon J. Phillips, Julia Reidy, Ignaz Schick, Michael Thieke, Clayton Thomas, Sabine Vogel, Biliana Voutchkova, Marta Zapparoli)
* CHARLES HAYWARD & TONY BUCK
* A PRIDE OF LIONS (Daunik Lazro, Joe McPhee, Guillaume Séguron, Joshua Abrams, Chad Taylor)
* SONS OF KEMET (Shabaka Hutchings, Theon Cross, Eddie Hick, Tom Skinner)

SAMEDI 25 AOÛT 2018
* ROBIN HAYWARD & JEAN-LUC GUIONNET
* GROUPE D’IMPROVISATION DU CONSERVATOIRE DE MULHOUSE (Samuel Colard, Célestine Asselin, Gauthier Legris, Alexandre Cahen, Laure Fischer, Théo Zimmermann)
* SPLITTER ORCHESTER (Liz Allbee, Boris Baltschun, Burkhard Beins, Anthea Caddy, Axel Dörner, Kai Fagaschinski, Robin Hayward, Steve Heather, Anat Cohavi, Mario de Vega, Chris Heenan, Magda Mayas, Mike Majkowski, Matthias Müller, Andrea Neumann, Morten J. Olsen, Simon J. Phillips, Julia Reidy, Ignaz Schick, Michael Thieke, Clayton Thomas, Sabine Vogel, Biliana Voutchkova, Marta Zapparoli)
* PETER EVANS ENSEMBLE (Peter Evans, Mazz Swift, Tom Blancarte, Sam Pluta, Jim Black)
* THIS IS NOT THIS HEAT (Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, Frank Byng, Daniel O’Sullivan, Alex Ward, James Sedwards)

Découvrez le programme complet : WWW.FESTIVAL-METEO.FR

Check the full program : WWW.FESTIVAL-METEO.FR

AngelicA 28 Festival Internazionale di Musica

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The Angelica Festival is celebrating its 28th year with AngelicA 28 Festival Internazionale di Musica in Bologna, Modena (Italy)

May 3>5 + 9 + 13 + 16>19 + 24>27 2018

 

The festival lineup currently includes:
John King GUITORGANUM,
Eric Chenaux SLOWLY PARADISE,
Skadedyr CULTUREN ,
David Behrman HEADY STRING WINDS,
Giorgio Nottoli IL SOFFIO-IL BATTITO-L’ELETTRICO POLICROMO,
Alvin Curran A BANDA LARGA sinfonia di strada,
SETOLADIMAIALE UNIT & Evan Parker
Dharma, HIS HUBRIS, SA ,
TRIO Kimmig-Studer-Zimmerlin & John Butcher,
Gavin Bryars Italian Ensemble & Ensemble Korymbos STRINGS, GUITARS & VOICES,
Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna,
Piccolo Coro Angelico,
LIBERARE LA VOCE,
Mike Patton FORGOTTEN SONGS (Mike Patton, Uri Caine),
Anthony Braxton & Jacqueline Kerrod, …

For more information visit: AngelicA

AMN Reviews: John Corbett – “Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium” [ Duke University Press – isbn:9780822363507 ]

978-0-8223-6366-8_prFreaks are those of us that harmlessly indulge our interests to the point of compulsion or obsession. When it comes to music, the most interesting people that I have met have been those that exuberantly talk about music almost to the point of proselytizing. As they talk about either their collections or their discoveries or a recent concert or a new release or a particular instrument, they invite us to share in their enthusiasm and in the process they turn us on to all kinds of great music that we may have been completely unaware of. While many of these people can be found on blogs, or in chat rooms, on mailing lists and in forums, a select few have managed to turn their obsessions into a career. Luckily for us John Corbett is that kind of freak.

When it comes to the outer limits of jazz and the realms of creative music and free improvisation, Corbett writes with unmatched exuberance and passion supported by his deep and wide knowledge of the music. In “Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium” John Corbett explores the mindset of record collecting and the rising popularity of vinyl records. He combines bits of memoir and criticism to explain what he and other collectors find so special about vinyl. The book contains seven new essays and the entire twelve years of the “Vinyl Freak” column that Corbett wrote for DownBeat magazine. Each “Vinyl Freak” column consisted of a one page essay/review of a rare primarily jazz record and are reprinted in their entirety, plus updated notes on reissue status. What was really interesting about the “Vinyl Freak” columns were the tangents that Corbett might take in describing the record, its music, the musicians, cover, style, etc. This would often reveal interesting external connections between the music, its makers and its history, and in the process expose us to related albums and musicians. Among the new essays is a chapter of vignettes on one hundred thirteen of his favorite rare free improvisation and creative music recordings. There is also one riveting essay that focuses on the tale of his uncovering of a cache of extremely rare Sun Ra items.

While many will view this book as just being about Corbett’s obsessive and unique view of record collecting and the recent vinyl resurgence, and that is definitely in this book, it’s really about how the format changes of recorded music impacts music history. There is so much great music that seems to have disappeared due to format changes. In writing about all of these rare records Corbett uncovers a lot of great and potentially forgotten music. John Corbett reminds us that as formats change we can lose great music. Think of the many records that you had in your vinyl collection that have yet to make it to CD or a digital download format. Well, consider that this has happened throughout the history of recorded music, as recordings moved from tapes and wires and cylinders and shellac to various forms, speeds and sizes of vinyl and then to various digital formats. Bottom line, we may have lost a lot of great music along the way and we would have lost even more great music, if it weren’t for collectors who turned their passion into the curating and production of reissues of old recordings in new formats. John Corbett has stepped up here as well with the many reissues he has been busy producing for his Corbett vs Dempsey label.

Clearly John Corbett is a vinyl freak. Who else would include a rare unreleased limited edition Sun Ra flex-disc in his latest book? He may truly love the vinyl medium but deep down he loves the music even more. Corbett really is an “equal opportunity ear filler” and is willing to acquire the music he really enjoys in any format. With “Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium” John Corbett invites us to join him in the pleasure of discovering new sounds to indulge our ears. So what are you waiting for? You’ve been invited. Highly Recommended!

Chris De Chiara

For more information: https://www.dukeupress.edu/vinyl-freak

Additional reviews of John Corbett’s books on AMN:

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: http://firehouse12records.com

Chris De Chiara

AMN Picks of the Week: Håker Flaten / Bankhead / Mazurek / Revis / Zorn

English: The Norwegian jazz band Element in co...

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / New York Quartet – Now Is (2012)
Harrison Bankhead / Sextet – Morning Sun, Harvest Moon (2011)
Rob Mazurek / Pulsar Quartet – Stellar Pulsations (2012)
Eric Revis – Parallax (2012)
John Zorn – Rimbaud (2012)

AMN Picks of the Week: Sky Burial / Eduardo F. Rosario / Magma / Anglagard

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Sky Burial – There I Saw The Grey Wolf Gaping (2012)
Eduardo F. Rosario – (Auto/Anti)nomía (2012)
Magma – Félicité Thösz (2012)
Änglagård – Viljans Öga (2012)