CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

Nate Wooley: Trumpet/Amplifier

In the limited edition LP, Trumpet/Amplifier, Jersey City trumpeter Nate Wooley has given credibility to the idea that no one can duplicate a sound, even though music history might say that “This has all been done before.” How sound is produced is always new because time is a factor. Wooley’s masterful solo development of sound involves only his instrument and a practice Fender amplifier. He is retrieving the most natural aspects of the acoustic quality of the sound that the trumpet and amplifier can create together, lifting them out of the sampling/laptop practice and pushing their limits according to how far he wants to extend them.

Therefore, the two sides of the LP hold awe-inspiring magic which becomes musical and rhythmical on its own. It is senseless to analyze how Wooley does what he does. It is more interesting to let the sound flow and witness its journey. The language required to describe the sound does not exist because there are no analogies that can be drawn. It is sometimes easy to identify Wooley’s changes in embouchure as the amplifier magnifies what his mouth is doing. But then, once the human element is discerned, it disappears and the listener’s imagination can take over.

Recorded in his living room in his home, the music transcends the Cage-ian concept of noise. Wooley’s innate sense of phrasing and expertise in improvisation in group situations imbues the seemingly incongruous juxtapositions with an irrefutable connectedness which is more than just abstract. Volume does not enter into the composition; detail does. Without detail, the integrity of the sound that gives it musicality would vanish. Attention has to be paid to every second that passes both in the making of the music and listening to it. There are no mistakes. Evolution happens without question. Evolution is the answer.

Originally Published