Interview with Nate Wooley

Interview with Nate Wooley

Trumpetaren Nate Wooley.

Interview with Nate Wooley

Publicerad: tors, 2014-06-26 20:12

Trumpetaren Nate Wooley syns alltmer på den kreativa musikscenen i såväl hemlandet USA som Europa. Soundofmusics Joacim Nyberg mailade några frågor och fick svar.

Av: Joacim Nyberg

Who is Nate Wooley?
I grew up in Oregon in the US. My hometown is called Clatskanie and is mostly fisherman and loggers of Scandinavian descent. It is a very small town and very quiet in a way, and I think that gave me a lot of time to work on my own thing without a lot of distraction, which is something I still treasure. My father was my earliest influence. He is a saxophonist, mostly working in big band music. I learned a lot from him about how to carry yourself and be able to understand what the music needs and give the right thing to make it work. As for later influences, they've come and gone, really. I like something in everyone to a degree and just try to learn from that.

What drives you?
I like work. I like to work. I like the idea of work. I don't want to say it's a spiritual practice, but it means something to me to be working on music or on something I don't understand. I hate it when something ends, or when I come to a place with an idea or a book or a movie or a piece of art or music where I feel like I have gotten everything out of it that I can. I like trying to add to what I know or to refine things that I learned previously. It is just the way my mind works. I don't think I need anything else externally to drive me. Not at this point, at least.

In my article about you, I point out that you place yourself in so many different musical contexts, but that you manage to make wonderful music in any situation. How do you approach the music? Do you think very differently depending on whom you’re playing with and what you are playing? How can you be so relaxed in the various settings?
I think that you practice a set of skills. If you really think about practicing a broad set of things, then playing with different people just becomes an adjustment of the language you use. That sounds really clinical, but essentially, it's a very human way of playing or thinking. If you are at someone's grandmother's house you use a certain language out of respect for the situation, if you are drinking with your buddies, it is a different language but you are the same person. It's the same idea with music for me. You're just framing your music in a different way to make the most sense and to be the most elegant in the situation at hand. Sometimes that means throwing something different into the mix to create a tension, but that's your decision to make.

How is the playing situation in the US? In Europe? How is life as a working musician in the year 2014?
The US is tough, but has always been tough. The people that are interested in this music are very small in number, but big in heart, so it's fun to play here, even though the money may be small. In Europe, I feel like it's the same way, although there is more funding. I am a working musician in the sense that I work a full time job on top of playing music, so the money issue is something that I don't have the same level of dependence on as some of my peers do, so I'm not really qualified to answer that question, I'm afraid.

What's next for you? New projects? Old projects? Tours?
I'm just winding down a very intense six months of work with a bunch of new projects. The last one will occur this week; a double trio with Ron Miles, Rudy Royston, Devin Gray, Cory Smythe, and Jozef Dumoulin. I'm excited about that. Other than that, the quintet is working on new music: arrangements of early Wynton Marsalis tunes, and there should be a couple of new quartet records coming out... one with Dave Rempis from Chicago and another called Battle Pieces which is new music of mine with Ingrid Laubrock, Matt Moran and Sylvie Courvoisier.

Could you also mention some important collaborations? And, any specific musician you would like to work with in the future?
Paul Lytton remains a very important musician for me. We've had a duo for a long time now and I still get more out of playing with him than almost anyone else. Joe Morris is similar in that regard. I'm not sure there are too many people that I would like to play with that I haven't. I've been lucky in that way. I just want to play.

Do you have any relation to Sweden and Swedish jazz?
I'm of Swedish heritage and still have relatives in Sweden and so I feel tied to the country in many ways, but don't get to come too often, unfortunately. I know Mats Gustafsson a little, and have a lot of admiration for Sten Sandell's music.

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