wrong shape to be a story teller |cs038








































[…] The final two CDs are solo works, and can be seen as showcases for particular musicians. […] Something similar can be said about the release by Nate Wooley, who plays trumpet, recorded live on what happens to my birthday, one year ago. Here too the instrument is played like an object, and even sounds at times like an electronic work, which made me think that he might have added some sort of electronica but perhaps not. His playing is alike that of Thieke, the instrument as an object, although occasionally some of the original trumpet sounds sip through. The same problem I had with Thieke is also valid for Wooley: the disc is somewhat too long to hold my interest throughout, but I can imagine that both will join the improvisation circus based on these showcases. […] Frans de Waard (Vital)

Wrong Shape to be a Story Teller (creative sources recordings 038). This is a solo trumpet disc from local trumpet ace Nate Wooley, one of the few cats who is working hard at redefining the vocabulary and sound of the trumpet. Although saxes often get most of the ink in the history of jazz (Bird, Trane, Ornette, Dolphy, Ayler, etc.), it seems to be the trumpet players that really link the history of change (Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis to Don Cherry, Lester Bowie, etc). Over the past decade another bunch of trumpeters have signaled new sounds for that old horn. Europeans like Axel Dörner and Franz Hautzinger, as well as their American counterparts: Greg Kelley and Nate Wooley, each have done their share to expand their unique sound(s). When I first put this on, I thought someone was boiling water for tea, that same sort of whistle. This 51-minute epic solo effort show a variety of different sounds, textures and approaches to the trumpet. Notes are stretched out and bent into different shapes and often it is difficult to tell what instrument Nate is actually playing. You can tell he is concentrating as he works with small fragments of note and bending them in strange way. A most impressive effort. BLG (Downtown Music Gallery)

Nate Wooley, trzydziestojednoletni amerykanski trebacz, od jakiegos czasu dosc regularnie pojawia si_ w otoczeniu starszych, bardziej utytulowanych muzykow. Wsrod nich znajduja sie zarowno jazzmeni, jak i wszelkiej masci improwizatorzy oraz "stylistycznie niezrzeszeni".
Sa i ci bardziej znani, jak chociazby Anthony Braxton, John Butcher, Joe Morris, czy Jack Wright, jak i ci, ktorzy ciesz_ si_ popularno_ci_ raczej niszow_ - tu wspomnie_ wypada np.: Bhoba Rainey'a, Alessandra Bosettiego, Assifa Tsahara, Tony'ego Bucka czy Tatsuya Nakatani. S_ wreszcie muzycy kompletnie nieznani, z którymi jeszcze niedawno grywa_ bebopowe standardy w niewielkich klubach.
Wooley wci__ jeszcze nie nale_y do pierwszej ligi improwizatorów - zaznaczy_ tylko swoj_ obecno__ na kilku interesuj_cych p_ytach, pojawi_ si_ na paru znacz_cych festiwalach i tyle - wi_c prawd_ mówi_c, nie spodziewa_em si_ zbyt wiele po jego debiutanckiej p_ycie solowej, ot, co najwy_ej poprawnie odrobionego zadania domowego. U_ci_laj_c: pracy zadanej w szkole, której patronami s_ Dörner, Hautzinger i Kelley. I w_a_ciwie do pewnego stopnia tak w_a_nie jest - w muzyce zawartej na "Wrong Shape..." s_ycha_ echa dokona_ wymienionej trójki, stylistycznie za_ mo_na by wrzuci_ j_ do szufladki opatrzonej napisem: "improwizowana sonorystyka" (a mo_e: "sonorystyczna improwizacja"?); p_yta spokojnie mie_ci si_ w quasi-nurcie: "muzyka elektroniczna wykonywana na instrumentach akustycznych". Czyli nihil novi sub sole...
A jednak pozwalam sobie t_ p_yt_ gor_co zarekomendowa_. Mo_e czyni_ to ze wzgl_du na swobod_ z jak_ Wooley pos_uguje si_ instrumentem, mo_e z powodu _wie_o_ci kilku pomys_ów brzmieniowych... A mo_e powodem jest ciekawie rozwijaj_ca si_ akcja... Niby "Wrong Shape..." to jeden utwór: zarejestrowana na mini-dysku ponad pi__dziesi_ciominutowa improwizacja, któr_ sam autor okre_li_ mianem nagrania dokumentuj_cego obecno__ tr_bki w d_wi_kowo zabrudzonej przestrzeni, czym_ na kszta_t "fieldrecordingu" z tr_bk_ na przedzie, ale jego struktura jest fragmentaryczna. I tak, mamy raczej do czynienia z wieloma odr_bnymi cz__ciami kolejno po sobie nast_puj_cymi, ni_ z tworem linearnie si_ rozwijaj_cym i d___cym do jakiej_ kulminacji. To raczej zapis stanu pewnego "tu i teraz", zapis tego, co mia_o miejsce si_ w ci_gu kilkudziesi_ciu minut ósmego sierpnia 2004 roku, lekko pó_niej oczyszczony w studio ale tylko po to, by usun__ niepotrzebne ha_asy i zniekszta_cenia. Wydaje si_, _e warto w tym miejscu doda_, _e _ród_em prawie wszystkich s_yszanych na p_ycie d_wi_ków jest tr_bka. Tak wi_c ów fieldrecording jest do__ specyficzny.
Jak ju_ wspomnia_em w grze Wooleya mo_na zauwa_y_ wp_ywy innych tr_baczy, zosta_y one jednak na tyle przefiltrowane przez wra_liwo__ muzyka, _e nie mo_na mówi_ o ich kopiowaniu, czy te_ na_ladowaniu, lecz o zal__kach osobistego stylu, o co w idiomie wspó_czesnej muzyki improwizowanej bardzo trudno. Zwró_my wi_c uwag_ na Nata Wooleya, bo na pewno w przysz_o_ci jego gra jeszcze nie raz sprawi nam wielk_ przyjemno__. Na razie za_ rekomenduj_ omawian_ p_yt_ oraz nagrania tria Blue Colar, które wspó_tworz_ puzonista Steve Swell i perkusista Tatsuya Nakatani. Wspomn_ te_, _e interesuj_co zapowiada si_, bardziej jazzowy projekt, Nate Wooley Quartet, w którym pojawiaj_ si_ Matt Moran, Reuben Radding oraz Take Toyama. Ja niestety nagra_ tego sk_adu nie znam, ale pojawiaj_ce si_ tu i ówdzie opinie s_ bardzo zach_caj_ce. Na sam koniec wypada wspomnie_, _e na prze_omie 2005 i 2006 r. wytwórnie Clean Feed oraz Hat Hut powinny wyda_ p_yty formacji Transit oraz Daniel Levin Quartet, w których Wooley odgrywa istotn_ rol_. Jest wi_c na co czeka_... Tadeusz Kosiek (Diapazon)

If you really want to test yourselves, putting your money where your mouth is during those discussions with your friends about "lowercase", "reductionism" and other by now trendy definitions, look no further than this exquisitely hostile work, where Nate Wooley tackles silence and calmness through a series of postcards from the hell of deviant trumpet. Wrecking all institutional conventions, Wooley extracts pneumatic excursions and electrostatic aromas from the nails of a buggy muteness, at times provoking the listener with machine-like holds/ostinatos and eruptions of charged clumsiness, then inviting the surrounding environment to take his place while he develops the next ideas as soon as they come to mind. Clucks and breath become a challenge to the sophistication of what is "acceptable" in improvisation and certainly Wooley is not the kind of artist likely to look back after his corrosive statements; in this album, even the absence of events becomes dangerous. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Recorded live in New York in 2004, this solo trumpet cd by Wooley shares the same pros and cons of Thieke's. The theory of sounds the performer squeezes out of his instrument ranges from an initial theremin-sounding frequency to full-on noise to almost lowercase reductions, and an adventurous ear will find many sparkles of creativity and discipline throughout the work. My problem was that the several fragments, assembled in one 51+-minute track, are just not always strong enough to keep my attention focused. It's part of the game I guess, but I wonder if some more editing would have done this good. Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

Trumpeter Nate Wooley’s Wrong Shape to Be a Storyteller (Creative Sources 038) sits aside a number of fascinating solo trumpet documents in recent years (by Axel Dörner, Franz Hautzinger, and Greg Kelley, among others). Wooley’s document is a single 51-minute track recorded in August 2004. The nature of solo albums can be episodic, especially when one is ambitious enough to have just a single track. But in general there’s a direction to this piece (indeed, one of its ambitions may be, taking a cue from the title, to subvert expectations about conventionally “narrative” playing). There are certainly any number of interesting techniques heard here: pinched squeals, soft static punctuated by sharp rushes of breath, ghosts working the valves, and unsettling scuttling. But what’s really fascinating is Wooley’s propensity to use post-production and editing (at least I think that’s what’s going on) to create some very rude (and provocative) juxtapositions. Some of this brutal noisemaking recalls Kelley’s work in particular (especially his great recent release on Little Enjoyer/Gameboy): blasts of noise serve as segues to different techniques, but occasionally long periods of silence do the same. The combination of glitches, ruptures, and silences, mixed with Wooley’s already considerable instrumental range, make this a really fascinating document. Jason Bivins (Dusted Magazine)

Docked in the farthest reaches of brass experimentation, this CDs isn't designed for a casual listener. Unvarnished real-time records of solo trumpet manipulation, together the twitters, shrills, hisses and silences are as far removed from melodic as you can get. A single track improvisation - Jersey City, N.J.'s trumpeter Nate Wooley's is a touch under 511/4 minutes, proves that in the right hands, the textures from three-valve brass can be as expressive yet as unidentifiable as those that come from reed instruments or even electronics.
Preoccupied in general with the idea of using the breath as an organic meter, this CD features Wooley experimenting with tongue pops, lip sucking, capillary twitters and pipe scrapes. Separated by meaningful silences, this exercise in extended technique runs from concentrated, moderato electro-acoustic waveforms to shrill wavering movements. Sometimes the buzzing growls and budgie-like twitters stand on their own. Other places the circulation of air through the lead tube takes on the characteristics of a whistling kettle coming to a boil.
Valve manipulation is at a minimum, but as these watery slurs and shrill wavering tones concentrate into a protoplasmic, wiggling mass other vibrations can be sensed as well. Studio crackle and hiss are worked into the piece as are hollow tube resonation and tongue slaps. One, perhaps inadvertent, dramatic peak arrives mid-way through with a single whack of the trumpet against the mic. Then after squeaky oscillations, the finale involves a sequence of very fast rhythmic pulses followed by what sounds like glass shattering.
A fine first effort which alternately mocks and accurately lives up to its title, WRONG SHAPE TO BE A STORY TELLER would honestly have been more memorable if it was even more concise.
Axel Dörner and Birgit Ulher among others are pushing the bounds of trumpet improvisation from a European perspective. Bringing that concept further, Wooley is doing the same thing in the United States. Ken Waxman (Jazz Weekly)

Von NATE WOOLEY und seiner Trompete war anlässlich des Blue-Collar-Trios schon ausgiebig die Rede. Bei Wrong Shape to be a Story Teller (CS 38) zeigt er nun sein ganzes Talent als Alleinunterhalter. Der stehende Fond, auf den er seine mundgeblasenen Schnörkel so akrobatisch aufträgt, ist sicher elektronisch unterfüttert. Das mindert aber nicht die Fragezeichen. Wie macht er das bloß? Enorme Haltetöne, selten solche, die man einer Trompete zutraut, und dann knüllt er so eine Episode mit einer Hand zusammen und steckt sie in die Hosentasche. Nur um einen neuen Anlauf zu nehmen. Oder um minutenlang zu schweigen, so dass man die Vögel tschilpen hört. Was ist daran minimalistisch, wenn jemand derartigte Luftsäulen in den Raum stemmt. Das ist allenfalls monotonistisch, ein gehauchtes Tröööööt folgt dem anderen, manchmal mit schrillen Obertönen akzentuiert oder von Störknacksern oder ganz mikrobisch feinem Fiepen. Und immer wieder mit Zeit für Schweigeminuten. Wooleys Uhr tickt eine ganz und gar löchrige, weitmaschige Stunde. Ist das eine Einübung ins Nirvana, das Koan vom Geräusch einer fallenden Schneeflocke? Nach 40 Minuten huscht wieder ein züngelnder Ton mäuseflink über die weiße Decke. Könnte man sich diese Hörerfahrung nicht einfach bloß denken? Oder ist so ein Taufbad im Stillen Ozean des Klangs, dieses ‚Alas, poor Louis‘ auf dem Trompetenfriedhof, diese Stunde, bei der einem Hören und Sehen vergeht, die Voraussetzung für eine Runderneuerung des Hörsinns? (Bad Alchemy)