Jul 17 2016
A solo trombone recording isn’t one that is often going to be described as ambient or intoxicating, but the newest from Dave Nelson can’t really be described any other way. Thirty Thousand Feet begins with a simple image, a brief melodic fragment from trombone, but through the use of pedals and effects, Nelson adds one layer after the next, and suddenly that improvised note becomes an expansive vision rich with details.
This process manifests in the slow lighthouse pulse of opening track “Twenty Thousand Feet” and the chipper bounce of “Freeway” that sings out curls of melody, and also in the luxuriant yawns of “Jewell” that expand into the hazy impressionism of vivid dreams.
Sometimes Nelson dives headfirst into the effects, and the warbled effect of a track like “Newsroom” is no less hypnotic than the slowly enveloping harmony of “Mesosphere.” But then there’s a track like “Eastman” where he brings all of his different emphases into the same fold.
There are a number of references I could make here. Nelson contributed to Steve Coleman’s Synovial Joints, which was one of the best things to come out in 2015. He’s also performs on a couple of Kenosha Kid’s earlier recordings; it was their 2015 release Inside Voices that got an enthusiastic recommendation by this site. He’s also performed with jazz legend Yusef Lateef. But in the end, the most relevant (and useful) reference I can make here is Brian Eno’s Ambient tetralogy… the minimalism, the looping and effects, the mesmerizing ambiance… it’s all there in all its loveliness.
Seriously captivating music.
Your album personnel: Dave Nelson (trombone, effects).
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more album tracks at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from NYC.