Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nate Wooley, Jason Roebke, Fred Lonberg-Holm - Thrown Down Your Hammer (Porter Records, 2009)

Two observations :
1. In his book, "This Is Your Brain On Music", psychologist Daniel Levitin writes that sufficient exposure to repeated listens to the same music will familiarize you with the sounds and make you appreciate what you hear, regardless of what your initial reaction is to the music.
2. Sometime in the previous century, I forced myself to like free jazz (as a punishment to myself after I bought an LP which I wrongly assumed I would like), and I then realized how rich, deep and fresh the music sounded even after dozens and dozens of times. So first impressions can be very wrong.

Add to this that I admire trumpetist Nate Wooley, bassist Jason Roebke and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, who just released this CD with the great title "Throw Down Your Hammer And Sing".

My point is this: I have just downloaded this CD from eMusic. It is very avant-garde, with sounds that are mostly not recognizable as coming from the instruments they play, and that sometimes ressemble organic, almost natural sounds, both in their creation as in their interaction, but sometimes also very industrial, but then in the artisanal way, like wood being sawn, sometimes like cars honking in traffic jams. But as Wooley writes on his blog, it is also very "intimate and human". I have listened to this album four times now. I admire these three musicians too much to discard this music as a waste of time. I will listen to it. I will listen to it many, many times, and let you know what I think of it later, much later.

Maybe I should add one thing. I once went to a presentation by a modern classical composer, who made horrible music, but who went so far as to explain his music. The whole audience stayed, and listened to his proud explanation of his music. I could tell everyone was bored, slightly horrified, and wanting to escape asap, yet too polite to run away to safer places. I can imagine this music may generate the same feeling.

But I will listen to it till I come to appreciate it, if I ever can. If yes, then Levitin is right, and I am richer with experience. If not, then Levitin is proven wrong, and I am still richer with experience.

I want to like this music.

Listen and download from eMusic.

Buy from Instantjazz.
© stef

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The last one(Shipp)bores me,this Nate Wooley soothes and satisfies completely...

Very honest review,stef.
That honesty makes your reviews so worthwhile and singular...

nate wooley said...

Hi Stef,

We could ask for nothing more, and if you end up not liking it in the end, I appreciate you giving it the time. I know it is a difficult album. It is for me too, honestly, but that's why I like it.

best,
Nate

stef said...

Thanks Nate. I appreciate the reaction. And for sure, I will keep listening to it. That's at least the challenge it gives. It will take some effort, but that's OK.

stef

Anonymous said...

I listen to this in the same manner that I read a book;alone and in total concentration.Unlike a book,though,the story never unfolds the same way twice,or does it(?),and I always listen to this one at night...

billphoria

+heard entire disc at last.fm before buying a copy from retailer.I refuse to enter the 21st century without kicking and screaming!

Anonymous said...

I find this a compelling musical experience. Keep listening! It will hit at the right time.

aileverte said...

emusic is great for discovering things... But when you get around to enjoying them, the bitrate is so low that anything that is out of range just sounds dulled... I recommend you either buy the CD or get it at least at 256 kpbs.