Nate Wooley Quintet Alpha played @ The Rotunda 1/19/12 at 8pm
Nate Wooley Quintet Alpha, based in Brooklyn, NY, features a trumpet, vibraphone, bass clarinet, drums, and bass. This was the first concert of the year for the Ars Nova Workshop 2012 jazz season and the event was free. All seats were taken and some people stood up to watch. Nate Wooley Quintet Alpha played for about 80min, and had a traditional feel, with somewhat structured jazz songs that had lots of free jazz elements. The performed the first half of (Put Your) Hands Together, an album with all women’s name, and a few other songs like berries, and 1 million billion btu. Each song was announced and given a mini explanation which gave a more intimate feel to the otherwise abstract sounds. I believe the trumpet was the main highlight; although Nate Wooley gave much credit to the band and each member added their own element was able to shine while playing a solo. The songs had alternating trumpet and bass clarinet, and then they sometimes played in unison. The horn and wind instruments were absent for 1 song which left the percussion section. I thought the vibraphone had a very spirited and clear sound. Observing the drummer was like watching someone paint, because his movements were very fluid and yet controlled. Nate Wooley Quintet Alpha reminded me of the essential artistry behind playing an instrument and it was wonderful listening to the music.