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Radio & Podcasts

Thumbscrew, Mali Obomsawin and John Escreet

Read "Thumbscrew, Mali Obomsawin and John Escreet" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


A few new releases by trios to contemplate and explore in this episode, highlighted by the latest from Thumbscrew, that stellar threesome of Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek and Tomas Fujiwara. Multi-colored Midnight is one of their best to date. Also on the bill, pianist John Escreet, The Bad Plus's latest with new members Ben Monder and Chris Speed, and from the Hudson River Valley scene, Bob Shaut, Charlie Knicely and Chris Bowman. Also very recent from another quartet from that ...

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Album Review

Thumbscrew: The Anthony Braxton Project

Read "The Anthony Braxton Project" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


The Thumbscrew trio celebrates avant-garde legend Anthony Braxton's 75th birthday with this project. Given access to the Tricentric Archives of Braxton's work, they focused on previously unrecorded pieces by the composer, multi-wind master and bandleader. In addition to their playing history together guitarist Mary Halvorson, double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer/vibraphonist Tomas Fujiwara have all had extensive experience working with Braxton, making them ideally suited to these interpretations of his music. Seeking scores that fired their imaginations (as ...

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Multiple Reviews

Thumbscrew: Ours & Theirs

Read "Thumbscrew: Ours & Theirs" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Thumbscrew is an occasional project for three very busy contemporary jazz musicians. Guitarist Mary Halvorson, double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara have crossed paths numerous times on their own projects. All three of them participated in Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus: The Distance (ECM, 2016), on Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: After All Is Said (482 Music, 2015), and more recently on Mary Halvorson's Code Girl (Firehouse 12 Records, 2018). The trio's recorded debut was Thumbscrew ...

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Album Review

Thumbscrew: Theirs

Read "Theirs" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


It has been four years since Thumbscrew, the trio of guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, released their self-titled debut (Cuneiform Records, 2014). The trio is simultaneously releasing two albums--their third and fourth--Ours and Theirs on the same label. As the titles indicate, one album consists of original compositions and the other, covers from a very eclectic assortment of artists from Benny Golson to Wayne Shorter and far less familiar names. The latter of the two ...

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Album Review

Thumbscrew: Thumbscrew

Read "Thumbscrew" reviewed by Troy Collins


Thumbscrew is the self-titled debut of a two-year-old trio featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. As leading members of the next generation, Halvorson and Fujiwara have honed their finely-tuned rapport in numerous ensembles over the years, including cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum's flagship sextet, where they first met Formanek, who subbed for the group briefly in 2011.Formanek's storied career dates back to the '80s, when he worked as a sideman for such luminaries as ...


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