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Nate Wooley: Battle Pieces

Mark Corroto By

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Someday trumpeter Nate Wooley is going to sell-out, abandon his principles, and make a smooth jazz record. He will give in to the pull of commercial success and create a disc of elevator music which can be played, but taken no heed of.

I jest, because everything he creates necessitates the ear and mind's consideration. Wooley is a member of the new generation of trumpet players, like Peter Evans, Taylor Ho Bynum, and cornetist Kirk Knuffke who move seamlessly between the genres of traditional jazz, free improvisation, classical, noise, and new music. He can play from the Freddie Hubbard book and also that of Bill Dixon. His recent releases with Ken Vandermark, East By Northwest (Audiographic Records/2014), Dave Rempis/Pascal Niggenkemper/Chris Corsano From Wolves To Whales (Aerophonic Recods, 2014), and World Of Objects (5049 Records, 2014) with Evan Parker and Jeremiah Cymerman (to name just a few) have all been stellar recordings.

This latest project Battle Pieces combines Wooley's deft touch at extended technique with his composing skills for like players. Recorded live at Anthony Braxton's Tricentric Foundation in 2014, Wooley brings together saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock (Anti-House, Paradoxical Frog, Mary Halvorson Septet), vibraphonist Matt Moran (Claudia Quintet, Slavic Soul Party, Dan Levin), and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier (Erik Friedlander Trio, Herb Robertson Quintet, and duo with Mark Feldman).

The written music and combination of players work through Wooley's composed music that gives way to each player's improvisations and each musician's extended technique. The disc contains four lengthy "Battle Pieces" and three "Tape Deconstructions." The latter pieces are not so much remixes as tighter amalgams of the performed compositions. Where the longer pieces stretch the compositions out, the "Deconstructions" are fitted for those of us with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Perhaps the best way for the ADHD listener to experience this is to ingest the shortish pieces with their growling trumpet, bowed vibes, popping saxophone, and plucked piano before diving into the extended music. The music (and this particular lineup) succeeds at the merger of composed new music, free improvisation, and extended technique. Wooley's triumph is the euphonic combination of all these elements.

Track Listing: Battle Pieces I; Tape deconstruction I; Battle Pieces II; Tape deconstruction II; Battle Pieces III; Tape deconstruction III; Battle Pieces IV.

Personnel: Nate Wooley: trumpet; Ingrid Laubrock: tenor saxophone; Matt Moran: vibraphone; Sylvie Courvoisier: piano.

Title: Battle Pieces | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Relative Pitch Records

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