Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

9

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: After All is Said

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Tomas Fujiwara is one of the busiest drummers in New York City, with memberships in cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum's Sextet, baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's Ideal Bread and the cooperative trio Thumbscrew, featuring acclaimed guitarist Mary Halvorson and veteran bassist Michael Formanek, among other projects. Formed in 2008, Fujiwara's flagship ensemble, The Hook Up, is one of the Downtown scene's most consistently creative and engaging acts.

After All is Said is the band's third recording for 482 Music, following The Air is Different, from 2012, and its 2010 debut, Actionspeak. Although the group's basic lineup has been fairly stable, Formanek assumes bass duties previously fulfilled by Trevor Dunn and Danton Boller, joining Fujiwara and charter members Brian Settles (tenor saxophone), Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet) and Halvorson. In addition to Formanek's recruitment, the group's instrumental palette has been slightly expanded; Settles plays flute for the first time on a Hook Up session, introducing the cinematic opener, "Lastly," with evocative Asiatic flourishes, complemented by Halvorson's spidery fretwork and Finlayson's clarion valedictions.

Fujiwara's non-linear compositions typically eschew conventional song structures, as exemplified by "The Comb." Interrupting a bold pointillist dialogue between tenor, guitar and drums with a somber interlude for doleful trumpet and bowed bass, the rubato piece gradually transforms into a quixotic collage of briskly articulated phrases and languid refrains, set in multiple time signatures. "Boaster's Roast" similarly juxtaposes the muscular rhythm section's rock-infused backbeats and Halvorson's spiky leads against edgy horn-driven funk, while "For Tom and Gerald" encapsulates the leader's tasteful artistry with a subdued but compelling unaccompanied drum solo devoid of pyrotechnics.

Formanek's imposing presence elevates the proceedings considerably; his majestically assured pizzicato solo is the climactic highpoint of "Solar Wind," following a riveting opening duet between Fujiwara and Settles and an extended passage of dazzling rhythmic invention from Finlayson. The swinging title track demonstrates the band members' traditional jazz chops in a concise string of virtuosic solos, culminating in a surprisingly conventional series of energetically traded fours. The soulful ballad "When" is more closely aligned with the aesthetics of rock, authoritatively conveyed by Halvorson's phantasmagoric six-string ministrations and Finlayson's stately soliloquy, which bring to a close one of the most accessible, challenging and inventive recordings of recent vintage.

Track Listing: Lastly; The Comb; For Tom and Gerald; Boaster's Roast; Solar Wind; The Hook Up; When.

Personnel: Mary Halvorson: guitar; Michael Formanek: bass; Brian Settles: tenor saxophone & flute; Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.

Title: After All Is Said | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: 482 Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Feefifofum Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Feefifofum Quartet
by James Nadal
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "The Things We Did Last Summer" CD/LP/Track Review The Things We Did Last Summer
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!