Song, Newton & Bynum: Trio Ex Nihilo
The traditional roles of the trumpet, cello, and drums undergo conscious redefinition on Trio Ex Nihilo. Bynum is as likely to use his instrument for birdlike lines as he is for floating decoration. The trumpet often assumes a microtonal voice-like role in his hands. And rather than playing the cello like a lot of players dodevoting primary attention to the bass lineSong prefers to go for harmonic twists and jabs, mixed with the occasional stark melody. And Newton is anything but a timekeeper on Trio Ex Nihilo. He takes his drum kit and coaxes from it a very sparse collection of accents and colors.
The utter commitment of these players to skirt familiar territory in order to forge new ground means that they're constantly taking risks. Some of their adventures work better than others, for surebut this trio generally keeps up solid forward momentum on their travels. Relative to a lot of free improv groups, they stick to a pared-down interplay. Often two players will engage in dialogue while the third sits out. And when they're in full swing (so to speak; and that's a rare event in the literal sense) they keep it deliberate, understated, and focused.
Track Listing: Ex Nihilo; The Back of My Mind; Scurrilous; Schwa; Turning the Wheel; Feng Shui Nightmare; Folk Song #8; Blister Pack; All Ways Are Up (for A. Stieglitz).
Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, trumpophone; Jeff Song: cello; Curt Newton: drums.
Record Label: Buzz Records
Style: Modern Jazz