Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara: True Events (2007)
Time can tell different stories. In the case of Taylor Ho Bynum and Tomas Fujiwara, it has been witness to a musical relationship that has spanned fifteen years. The two first played in a tribute to Miles Davis set up by Bynum in his high school. The collaboration continued in a band they formed, and in other settings, until their paths diverged down the road. Later, New York beckoned them both, and they got together once more. That is history. What is more pertinent now is the voice they bring to their music, which is full of invention, surprise, passion and fulfillment.
The compositions were carved from the musical elements the two defined for their playing and then shaped by Anthony Braxton's concept of "language improvisation. And while the written note provided direction, the musicians' individual imaginations and the empathy of their musical bond is what gives this disc flight.
This is most strongly apparent on "The Emperor of Ice Cream, the only piece here that was sparked by complete improvisation. Bynum is spare on the cornet, letting the notes escape slowly and curl their way into space. His ideas flow and he lets time make its mark in the ebb that follows. The intensity grows gradually and the construction gets a deeper dimension as his playing becomes more pithy. Fujiwara also lets the rhythm roll, peppering it with cymbal accents. The energy is palpable as they ride out the tune together. "Ship, dedicated to Mumbo Jumbo Music, a band the duo were in, is a roller coaster. It has a manic edge; the thrust never lets up and, quite simply, grabs attention.
True Events, shaped by fertile thinking, makes for a solid outing.
Track Listing: Wisdom; The Upset; Five Miniatures (Ficciones); Ship; The Leaning Reflection; Akickitaround; Biloxi / Ikuru; The Emperor of Ice Cream; Wisdom (Reprise).
Personnel: Tomas Fujiwara: drums; Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet.