Friday, 23 September 2011

Peter Evans & Nate Wooley - High Society.

Of course the fun of having your own blog is the chance to write what you want when you want, although one does try to keep up a certain rhythm. I just sent in my review of Peter Evans and Nate Wooley's - High Society (Carrier Records), one of their latest projects. It was as you'll see from my review below (on Free Jazz Blog) that I really enjoyed getting into this one, and my initial doubts soon melted away the more I listened to this rather intriguing record. It's amazing to think of how two trumpets - who avoid sounding like trumpets - can create such a rich texture of sounds and music (in the broadest sense of the word). Hearing this record tied in nicely with other music that I've been listening to recently and in particular Steve Lacy's solo work and somehow I was kind of reminded of his endless search for new ways to present his instrument, using the voice, clapping or just making strange duck sounds. And it is also not so often that music comes along that not only inspires but challenges in this way, giving one new ideas on what could (or can) be music. I had to smile at times whilst listening to this as I thought of various jazz blogs and journalists who would not call this either jazz or music. I also wondered what the likes of Wynton Marsalis or Kurt Rosenwinkel would make of this and I should add many of my - mainstream - musician friends would probably not be so enamoured with such a challenging album either. However it seems to me better to develop the unknown rather than perfecting the past when it comes to improvisation and sound. Here Peter Evans and Nate Wooley manage to stay away from any clichés of sound that their instruments would normally be associated with and it is only on the 5th track that the sound of the trumpet actually appears for the fist time ... even if a little modified. 

Anyway read the review below to have a little idea of what I blabbing on about, I hope you get a chance to hear the album one day.   

Peter Evans & Nate Wooley - High Society (Carrier Records, 2011) *****

Being a musician and playing a wide variety of music means that my family (kids and wife) are used to hearing wild sounds emanating from the hi-fi from time to time. But in certain cases I realise that maybe some music is not for wholesale consumption, and this .... is one of them! It's almost like a dream come true for a horn player (in this case trumpets) to be able to sound like Jimi Hendrix playing with feedback, however, it's more difficult to set fire to your trumpet, even with lighter fuel, you can hear Wooley and Evans had great fun making this recording. 'High Society' is as fascinating as it is unforgiving, there's no way out and no reference points to the trumpet as we know it. If you've heard Nate Wooley's Trumpet/Amplifier record then you'll already know how Wooley's starting to develop his style using this set up, here we have both Peter Evans and Nate Wooley blowing hot and cold through their trumpet/amplifier set ups.

It's almost impossible to give musical images for these tracks. Tracks such as I (track 3) make you wonder if the microphone is inside a turbine in a rocket engine, or is that the sound of something out in the desert somewhere? The two horn players use flutter tonguing, blowing, sucking, singing, spitting, banging the pistons, hitting the trumpet, it's all there. The fourth track LXVII starts like two wild animals in a fight, there are growls and screams, rattling, industrial crashes and explosions, music that's not for the faint hearted. However each track is so fascinating that you find yourself absorbed by the sounds as they change throughout each piece, each idea worked on and pushed to it's extreme and obvious conclusion. The sixth track 'XC' is a fascinating piece as .. shock horror .. you get to hear a real muted trumpet sound as it's starting point. The track develops over 13 plus minutes into a real tour de force of sounds, feedback, screams, singing and real trumpet sounds, never  dull moment.

Finally I should say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to this one, and for something that is rather abstract. The music which although very intense is (I found) always interesting to come back to and I'm intrigued to see how they'll develop and follow up wonderful recording. I can only finish with a often used phrase from our chief critic and editor Stef ......... Highly Recommended. 

Tags for this music could be - the wind, the sea, the washing machine, car engines, radio interference, food blenders, vacuum cleaners and the list goes on!


This is the last track #6 from the album it's titled XLV. There's no reason why I choose this piece except that it was the last on one on the album, which seems a good a reason as any .... don't you think?

Check out the article on Nate Wooley's Trumpet/Amplifier here


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