Greg Kelley - "Trumpet"
(Meniscus Records 2000 MNSCS 009)
From Aural Innovations #15 (April 2001)
"Trumpet" is just that... a series of solo trumpet tracks in which Kelley's focus seems to be on the sounds the instrument can produce and how they can be manipulated. In some ways this reminds me a lot of what so many experimental electronic musicians have done, and indeed this is mighty abstract stuff. Several times I had to adjust the volume, both up and down, to either hear the almost voiceless parts or protect myself from brain-splitting tones. Wind, fuzz, breathing techniques, whimsical runs... Kelley runs his instrument through a series of sonic calisthenics that come across as a primer for trumpet sounds and effects. And speaking of effects, I listened closely and while it sounds like electronics are employed in spots I suspect there are none. I'd guess he's combining breathing with muting devices and methods. This is an interesting, if difficult, work and its value strikes me more as being a demonstration of the possibilities for a larger work in combination with other musicians. Kelley's web site indicates he's worked with musicians as diverse as Anthony Braxton and Keiji Haino. I'd be interested to hear the result of a teamup with some electronic musicians.
For more information you can visit the Meniscus Records web site.
Contact via snail mail c/o Menscus Records; 3010 Hennepin Ave South #217; Minneapolis, MN 55408.
You can visit Greg Kelley at his web site.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz