All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Triple Double

Triple Double

Firehouse 12 Records
2018

buy
Triple Double

Triple Double

Firehouse 12 Records
2017

buy
 

Actionspeak

482 Music
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Dodecahedron CD/LP/Track Review
Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read The Chopin Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "when the shade is stretched" CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Infiltrators" CD/LP/Track Review Infiltrators
by Vitalijus Gailius
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Last Minute Panic" CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Birdsongs" CD/LP/Track Review Birdsongs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Patrick Burnette
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Out Of Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017