WTF?! Wednesdays: Trumpeter Forbes Graham

You’ve probably never heard of trumpeter Forbes Graham, though you might have heard him if you’re familiar with the (insert genre here, since I have no idea what to call them) band Kayo Dot. I came to know Graham through some shows he played locally up here in the sticks. This included a mind-blowing duet thing he did with Taylor Ho Bynum. Have you ever had an out of body experience during a concert, where the music seems so otherworldly that reality gets a little wiggly for a few moments. Yeah, it was like that.

In much of Graham’s solo work, he sidesteps “normal” play in favor of a wide array of extended techniques. It’s not often that I think of angularity outside of the context of melody, but Forbes puts me there. Does the idea of “angular texture” make any sense? It does to my ears.

So check out this live performance done with percussionist Johan Nystrom. The interplay is pretty fascinating, and it doesn’t take long for “out” to be achieved.

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to, and Salon, he originated several of our 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