If something exists in the netherworld, it is said to be "living in hereafter," or the "afterworld." This ethereal theme, with its delicate, vaporous connotations is the subject matter of trumpeter Rich Johnson's Up The Turret Mil.
While not a native of the Netherlands in either possible connotation, this New York artist produces sounds from somewhere beyond music, a region located between sound and feeling. His early training was in classical trumpet, before studying jazz at the Manhattan School of Music. He is a member of We Can Build You, with Jason Rigby and Jonathan Goldberger, and Voice of the Turtle: a laptop duo with Scott Anderson.
This disc was conceived, recorded, and mixed by Johnson in 2007, with him playing all parts on trumpet, laptop and guitar. This might suggest that Up The Turret Mil could be a reworked (or overworked) affairit's not. The stark minimalism (or restraint) is that of simple sonorities and patterns. His trumpet manipulations are reminiscent of Jon Hassell, Rob Mazurek and Ben Neill.
Although a trumpeter by title, Johnson doesn't present a top-heavy brass record; his spartan delivery is the trick here, neither flooding the music with natural or manipulated sound. Choosing his words (notes) carefully, he divines this otherworld of buoyancyhe is just as apt to rely on guitar, or computer flutter as the center of a track. The netherworld Rich Johnson occupies makes ambient music interesting and improvisation unnaturally coherent.
Track Listing: Squinting Skyward; Star Rover; Ignite a Noise; Harvester; The Loves of Zero; Shoreline
Frequency; I Trap Totem Pulp; After a Tectonic Melt Purr; Following Transparency Monodies;
Up the Turret Mil; Last Town Mile.
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.