11

Nate Wooley: Columbia Icefield

Don Phipps By

Sign in to view read count
Nate Wooley: Columbia Icefield
Nate Wooley's Columbia Icefield begins with a dueling repetition of chords by bandmates Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn on "Lionel Trilling." The ambiguity generated by this back and forth is the perfect start to his album's shape-shifting music.

Wooley's trumpet is both poetic and piercing. There's a sense of longing in his tone and it is amplified by his use of odd electronics which add texture and distortions to his lines or simply populate the background. Halvorson's twangs and twitters, Alcorn's strums and plucks, and Ryan Sawyer's melodic but forceful drumming, deepen the experience.

An interesting aspect of Wooley's pieces is the way different beats are emphasized from bar to bar. This keeps things adventurous. It's as if Wooley's music never seems to rest. "Seven In The Woods" is a case in point. It begins with a quiet and eerie statement. Wooley's muted, long tones are echoed by Halvorson and Alcorn. The notes and the spaces between them rise and dissipate like steam on a city street. Accentuating the mood, Sawyer contributes floating work on the drums—emphasizing snare taps and the occasional all-over drum cascade.

"With Condolences" is the most abstract and adventurous piece on the album. Wooley uses breath techniques and electronics to roar in some of his exchanges. While Sawyer plays free form underneath Wooley's legato, he vocalizes words that are at times distorted.

Columbia Icefield is filled with introspection, solitude, and an uneasy peace. Like the great mountain ice field from which the album takes its name, the music embraces a vast, isolated, but beautiful landscape.

Track Listing

Lionel Trilling; Seven In The Woods; With Condolences.

Personnel

Nate Wooley: trumpet; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Susan Alcorn: pedal steel; Ryan Sawyer: drums.

Album information

Title: Columbia Icefield | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Northern Spy

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.