Nat Baldwin, Justin Walter | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Nat Baldwin, Justin Walter Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sun., Sept. 29, 9 p.m. 2013

There are only a few passages on the new Lullabies & Nightmares (Kranky) where you might realize that Ann Arbor-to-Brooklyn transplant Justin Walter is a trumpeter. He’s played with Nomo and Iron and Wine, among others, and last year he released a genre-bending jazz-rock collection featuring a slew of Michigan pals, but on this mostly improvised solo album he focuses on the much-maligned Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI), a wind-driven synthesizer favored by Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, switching to lyrical, warm-toned trumpet only here and there (notably on the meditative “Fears of a Wild Man”). The limpid, spacey tones of the EVI make a good match with the shape-shifting textures of the synth-dominated backing tracks; only a few pieces have beats, overdubbed by Chicago drummer Quin Kirchner, one of Walter’s bandmates in Nomo. Sometimes the music’s astral noodling drifts into flotation-tank territory, but the interplay between Walter’s solo lines and the cascading backgrounds is almost always more interesting than the New Age veneer. —Peter Margasak Nat Baldwin headlines.

Price: $10

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