WTF?! Wednesday: Colin Stetson, “Judges” (2011)

When people hear that a horn player employs “extended techniques” on their instrument, what often comes to mind are things like valve clatter, ostinato, vocalizations, and circular breathing. With Colin Stetson, we get all of that, very often at the same time.

“Judges” is a clinic of extended saxophone technique. The sound is bolstered by placement of contact microphones both on the horn and on the player, allowing Stetson to create the illusion of a several-piece band. If you weren’t in on it, a blind listening to this tack would have you convinced at least two other musicians were involved. I’ve embedded a second video with Stetson letting us in a a few of the things he’s doing. Quite amazing stuff.

This was the first piece I’d ever heard Stetson play. I was completely blown away by the almost electronic effect produced by the ostinato and the vocalizations. When he gets everything working at the same time you can hardly believe your eyes.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B006K66HQ4″ container=”B00136LTXM” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B006K66GV0″ container=”B00136LTXM” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B004GY6EF6″ container=”B00136LTXM” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he writes several weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • Jesse

    I had an opportunity to see him play in Nanaimo in December. Simply mind blowing. It was really special.