Like today's NFL quarterbacks, trumpeters are required to be multidimensional. Modern players (in football) are required to pass, run, block and call audibles. Likewise, the jazz horn player can't just take a high glissando solo, bow, and collect a paycheck; he/she has to be able to shift between the jazz tradition, improvisation, classical music and outside free, all while carrying a suitcase packed with extended techniques.
The new breed of trumpeters that boast all of these qualities includes Peter Evans
, Axel Dorner
, Cuong Vu
, Franz Hautzinger ... and Nate Wooley.
Wooley's sextet recording (Sit In) The Throne Of Friendship
follows the quintet session (Put Your) Hands Together
(Clean Feed, 2011), with Dan Peck
's tuba added to Wooley's unique lineup of Josh Sinton
, Matt Moran
, Eivind Opsvik
, and Harris Eisenstadt
Fans of Eisenstadt's Canada Day ensembleswhich feature Wooley, Opsvik and Peckwill appreciate the trumpeter's approach here. He balances his gift for extended technique against rhythmic scores and the low-end textures that come with the tuba, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, and double bass.
The disc begins with "Old Man On the Farm," featuring Moran's ringing vibraphone and the band's incantations. Like the opening title to a movie, the rampart of sound rises with soloing players Sinton, Wooley and Peck reinforcing the wall. Wooley prefers the low end of things. Peck's tuba and Sinton's baritone provide a palpable feel throughout, giving the composer the ability to juxtapose the light with the heavy. "The Berries" balances opposites in a precise chamber setting, pinging vibes and upper trumpet notes against the chattering of Eisenstadt's cymbal work and the band's low end.
Elsewhere, he plays with a Raymond Scott
-like theme on "Plow," tumbling cartoonish elements against his extended breathy technique. The meditative "My Story, My Story" matches muted trumpet with the vibraphone's ringing bell-like sound, all against an almost ambient backdrop. Wooley takes his most impassioned solo here, sourcing his extended technique and raw emotion. His trumpet is again on full display with the opening solo of "A Million Billion BTUs," then in duo with Eisenstadt before the entire band joins. His simple-to-complex approach is laminated by the a steady pulse that allows the very subversive sounds of overblown saxophone and trumpet, big band dynamism and controlled mayhem.
Wooley zigzags, calls audibles, and changes the formations constantly- -just like a great quarterback should.
Old Man On the Farm; Make Your Friend Feel Loved; The Berries; Plow;
Executive Suites; My
Story, My Story; Sweet and Sad Consistency; A Million Billion BTUs.
Nate Wooley: trumpet; Josh Sinton: bass clarinet, baritone saxophone;
vibraphone; Eivind Opsvik: double bass; Dan Peck: tuba; Harris