Paris Transatlantic review by Jason Bivins

Joe Morris/Nate Wooley – TOOTH AND NAIL (CF 190)
Tooth and Nail features Joe Morris on acoustic guitar and Nate Wooley on trumpet, whose playing on these eight tracks is less focused on immersion and intertwining than on contrast, feinting and exultation in sonic difference. After the lovely exchanges of “Metronorth,” where wood and brass cage each other in the ring, Morris’s fascinating flinty bridge work on “Gigantica” sets up lobs for Wooley to bat down with the force of his breath. But this is no mere recital of bitty, gestures. The two really relish the abstracted slices of bop language on “Steelhead” and “Terrific Snag,” with Morris swinging hard. “Noble Reasoning” finds him fascinatingly reworking an ascending phrase, with a Braxtonian mini-hiccup at its heart, with Wooley a laughing bird crossed with Cootie Williams. If it’s invention and outness you’re after, don’t worry. Check out the serrations and choked chords on “Forest Grove,” along with Wooley’s muffled squeaks and brassy whines, or the soft drones and koto sounds of “Barberchaired.” It’s a fascinatingly varied duo outing, the kind of thing to play to shut up that guy who says free improv has no roots. Kudos!

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