Best of 2019 #29: Nate Wooley – “Columbia Icefield”


The idea of being one with nature has an ubiquitous presence in society, ranging from philosophical reveries by sharp thinkers to superficial representations in pop culture.  But it is often expressed as some idealistic state of being, a plateau of achievement reflecting a rightness in the way of life.  It almost always overlooks the reality that nature is fearsome, and that it can kill, and it does so with a perspective entirely alien to collective society’s norms and systems.  Nature is as imposing and dangerous as it is majestic.  It is as alien as it is symbiotic.  On his February 2019 release, Nate Wooley captures these conflicting dimensions of our relationship with nature through his own contemplation on his relationship with the Columbia Icefield.  And with the help of guitarist Mary Halvorson, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, and drummer Ryan Sawyer, the trumpeter has released one of the more compelling, epic works of 2019.

Your album personnel:  Nate Wooley (trumpet), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Susan Alcorn (pedal steel), and Ryan Sawyer (drums).

Released on Northern Spy Records.

Music from Brooklyn, NY.

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