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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor Ho Bynum: Navigation (Possible Abstracts XII & XIII)

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If Duke Ellington and Anthony Braxton were able to mix their DNA and reproduce themselves, the cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum would certainly be their scion. The best example of this Ellington/Braxton spawn is the latest recordings by Bynum's Sextet: the simultaneous release of an LP with digital download of the live date Navigation (Possible Abstracts X & XI) and a studio session, Navigation (Possible Abstracts XII & XIII), augmented here by drummer Chad Taylor to form a 7-tet. TheNavigation recordings are the Sextet/7-tet's fourth and fifth recordings, and they follow Apparent Distance (Firehouse 12, 2011), the session that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

AYCH / Jim Hobbs / Mary Halvorson / Taylor Ho Bynum: As The Crow Flies

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Three prominent modern-era improvisers offer a lesson in stark contrasts on this session, containing semi-structured and composed works. The artists construct off-center balladry, angst, and playful, cartoon-like soundscapes, amid a few doomsday scenarios dispersed throughout the jaggedly moving parts. Alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs' “Over Yonder" stands out, because it would have seemed highly unlikely that the trio would flirt with traditional, New Orleans jazz frameworks within the set's largely freely organized and vastly expressive agenda. Sparking remembrances of Louis Armstrong's resonating extended notes, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum aligns with Jim Hobbs for a bracing set of choruses, executed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

AYCH / Jim Hobbs / Mary Halvorson / Taylor Ho Bynum: As The Crow Flies

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Improvising confederates agree to collaborate to create music out of thin air, right? Well, yes. Except when they don't. AYCH features three of the finest improvisers working today: saxophonist Jim Hobbs; guitarist Mary Halvorson; and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum. All three come with stellar pedigrees and experience in guitarist/bassist Joe Morris' ensembles, plus Halvorson and Bynum were schooled at the knee of Anthony Braxton. Their previous recording together was last year's Bynum Sextet session, Apparent Distance (Firehouse 12, 2011).Seven of the twelve tracks presented here are group improvisations, the remaining five are penned by Hobbs. With ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: Apparent Distance

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Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum's craft and expansive ideological stance is firmly implanted within a modern day who's who list of cutting-edge stylists, where preconceived boundaries are slashed into fragments. With his long-running affiliation with famed multi-reedman and composer Anthony Braxton, the artist abides by a no-holds-barred belief, immersed in semi-structured musical persuasions. Bynum plays tricks with one's psyche throughout this commissioned four-part suite. On “Part III: Source," the sextet pulls out the proverbial stops, highlighting Bynum's fertile imagination tactics. The cornetist straddles the avant-garde via abstract undertones, odd-metered bop, scrappy improvisational segments and more, while guitarist Mary Halvorson's ...

GNOME NOTES

Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: Apparent Distance

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Taylor Ho Bynum SextetApparent DistanceFirehouse 122011 Taylor Ho Bynum cuts to a cornet's chase with his declaration of intent, in the liner notes to Apparent Distance, a 2010 New Jazz Works commission grant from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation:“My goal," he writes, “is not just to blur the lines between composition and improvisation (a long-time pursuit), but to try to upend the listeners' expectations in other ways: circular melodies without beginnings or ends, disguised unisons and non-repetitive vamps, transitions that are simultaneously jarring and organic. Most ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: Apparent Distance

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It is nearly impossible to stand far enough away from Taylor Ho Bynum's four-part suite, Apparent Distance, to take the entire piece in. It is both a thoroughly composed and an improvisational undertaking that swings as a conventional jazz sextet but challenges like a multi-directional chamber ensemble. Like Bynum himself, the music is not easily pigeonholed.Drop your phonograph needle just about anywhere (never heard of this? ask your dad) onto the record and the focal point changes. From a slurry-blopping cornet solo to Tomas Fujiwara's mad drumming, the scene always adjusts. This outward disorder does though have a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor Ho Bynum / John Hebert / Gerald Cleaver: Book Of Three

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While trumpet plus rhythm trios are not a dime a dozen, they are becoming increasingly common currency. Following after Stephen Haynes' Parrhesia (Engine, 2011) and Kirk Knuffke's Chew Your Food (No Business Records, 2010), arrives an entry by the adventurous threesome of cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, bassist John Hébert and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Though the title references Lloyd Alexander's children's favorite, it also neatly fits the ethos of three clearly separate authors who nevertheless meld their ideas into nine unified chapters. Though the chops of all three are a given, they don't flaunt their prowess. Indeed the whole ...



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