Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Nate Wooley Keeps On Getting Better: "(Put Your) Hands Together"
With Nate Wooley, and with his latest quintet album (Put Your) Hands Together (Clean Feed CF218CD), there is plenty to suggest that growth is a factor. Nate as an artist, trumpet-composer-bandleader, does not stand still. It's a very balanced album with a band that provides the freewheeling solo work you would expect from Nate's outfit, yet also has developed an ensemble sound, thanks in part to Nate's compositions-arrangements, but also thanks to the sensibilities of the players involved. Some of these players were a part of Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day II, which I covered a few days ago. These are players that obviously seek each other's company because of stylistic affinities. And that is a sort of controlled freedom that stresses the collective and the individual, fire and subtlety, spontaneity and form.
Everybody contibutes here. And Nate's trumpet is a smouldering fire that breaks into a bright flame when the time is right, but also can have a quietly searching quality. The charts, the group and the trajectory of the album follows his muse accordingly.
This is excellent ensemble jazz of the modern kind. Like so many releases coming out of Clean Feed lately, it establishes that "inside" and "outside" have their limitations as categories. The music is both. The music is neither. The music is worth your time.