Zoulek, Nick – “Rushing Past Willow” – [Innova Recordings]
Nick Zoulek is an American Saxophonist and composer, pushing his instrument in new directions through his unique vocal techniques, circular breathing, and “unconventional articulation.” He uses multiple microphones to pick up different aspects and textures of the sax sound.
The first thing you notice when listening to this album is Zoulek’s incredible circular breathing abilities. Beautiful melodic lines continually flow and evolve, becoming ever louder and more powerful. Relentless streams of arpeggios rush at you, unwavering.
Then come the otherworldly moans and screams, as Zoulek vocalizes and blows simultaneously, resulting in some room-shaking harmonic vibrations. Thick, honky sounds bellow like from the depths of hell. The songs take on such a richness and textural complexity that they sound electronically processed. On top of all this, Zoulek smacks the keys like drums, yielding a hollow percussive sound, almost like a bass.
The album is an exploration of harmonics and resonance, and what can be achieved with a simple instrument played in a new light.