battle pieces

Nate Wooley/Ingrid Laubrock/Sylvie Courvoisier/Matt Moran



A musical expansion of the Battle Pieces idea, Mutual Aid

Music features an expanded sonic palette with the addition of Josh Modney (violin), Mariel Roberts (cello), Cory Smythe (piano) and Russell Greenberg (percussion) to the original BP Quartet for a chamber orchestra. Four great improvisers meet four of the finest new music experimenters in New York as they navigate an expanded and manipulated set of Battle Pieces.


2 CD release on Pleasure of the Text Records 2/15/21




The new, expanded Battle Pieces concept will make its live debut in a series of smaller and larger groups playing the new music during Roulette Intermedium's fall season.


Mutual Aid Music plays 12/15/20. More information at



Battle Pieces sprouted from a 2014 commission for Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Music Festival. Given free reigh to work with new ideas, Wooley picked three improvisers who embodied grace and power within the jazz world, but also displayed a profound desire to question and to push their own abilities without fear: Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones, Sylvie Couvoisier on piano, and Matt Moran on vibraphone.


The music written for Battle Pieces was the first within a system Wooley calls "social music"Each piece is constructed for a single soloist, who improvises with no score. The remaining members of the group perform an ever changing kaleidoscope of short and long pieces without verbal recourse with each other or the soloist. The result is four improvisers constantly on the knife's edge and creating sometimes gorgeous and sometimes uncomfortable new pathways through music that is never the same twice. Different than freely improvising, this structure–now each player freely chooses from over 75 distinct compositions to combine with each other under the soloist–forces these great improvisers to confront new ways of making music away and expands their personal musical language.


In 2019, Wooley expanded the concept yet again, forming Mutual Aid Music: a mirror quartet featuring the original members of Battle Pieces plus four of the brightest lights from the new music/contemporary classical community in New York.

Listen to a track from Battle Pieces II, a NEW release on Relative Pitch Records, recorded live at The Loft in Koeln, Germany.