From the lush brass chorale opening through the squall to the final quiet moments, SSMV is an adventurous journey over the course of almost fifty minutes. At times Wooley literally speaks through his trumpet, reading sentences from authors like Jim Harrison, Herman Melville, and Wallace Stevens, whose muffled, distorted voices push through the veil like ghosts long forgotten. There is a repeated ding that runs through the piece, like a typewriter carriage returning at the end of a line. Squalling drones drift through like sand storms deep in the desert. The feedback can be as blinding as a late Agnes Martin painting, disorienting you as you wander across the albums’ expanse.
This album requires active engagement on the part of the listener. It’ll push you through your confusion into a place satisfyingly close to enlightenment. High volume and good speakers are heavily recommended.
Looking forward to the final two installments in the Seven Storey Mountain series.