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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara: Triple Double

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The ninety seconds of scattershot guitar nicks that introduce “Diving For Quarters" can be seen as something of a trial by noodling. If you make it through that rough and prickly patch mentally intact, you're in for a treat. Asymmetrical grooving in fifteen, puckered brass glances, winding horn melodies, and stormy ensemble assaults all follow as the song runs its course. It's music that sounds as unpredictable as it does inevitable. That's just the magic of drummer Tomas Fujiwara's work. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Formanek - Tomas Fujiwara - Mary Halvorson: Convallaria

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Three hyper-progressive improvisational jazz and cross-genre artists push the envelope again on their 2nd album for Cuneiform Records. The musicians' busy schedules via numerous and largely prolific solo and group-based projects have rocketed their respective artistries into the limelight, especially ECM recording artist Michael Formanek (bass) who for the past several decades has become a household name within these circles. Nonetheless, it's an adventurous exploration, led by guitarist Mary Halvorson's signature phraseology, comprised of extended lines that vaporize into the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: After All is Said

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: After All Is Said

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Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's The Hook Up features artists who are among the more prominent representatives of new directions in jazz and improvisation. Here, the leader acts as an instigator and propulsive factor via his rhythmically shaped works, comprised of rolling, tumbling and splintered movements, etched with budding thematic developments. Guitarist Mary Halvorson's distinctive phraseology comes to the forefront amid her liquefying and bent notes, eliciting otherworldly backdrops in parallel with her dynamic soloing sprees with the hornists. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mary Halvorson - Michael Formanek - Tomas Fujiwara: Thumbscrew

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Kindred musical spirits unite on this composers' cooperative, featuring three musicians who have been forerunners and antagonists of new-fangled directions in the avant-garde jazz spectrum, other than ripping into customary modern jazz fare with a vengeance. The artists' divergent discographies offer a worldly testament to these aspects, besides their work as first-call session aces. With Michael Formanek's pronounced bass lines, guitarist Mary Halvorson's fascinating permutations, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara laying down a host of perky grooves, the group executes within ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: The Air is Different

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Drummer Tomas Fujiwara inhabits the fertile Brooklyn scene alongside guitarist Mary Halvorson, a frequent collaborator who is part of his band, The Hook Up; alongside cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, both are also featured on collective The Thirteenth Assembly's outstanding Station Direct (Important, 2011). So it's not surprising that similarly smart multifaceted compositions, delivered through tight but sufficiently loose arrangements that allow space for left field solos, are high on the agenda on the band's sophomore effort. With only the bass ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: The Air Is Different

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Boston-born and Brooklyn-based drummer Tomas Fujiwara has been stirring things up in the New York City creative music scene for some time now, working with a wide variety of players including cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and guitarist Mary Halvorson.His working ensemble, Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, features Halvorson--one of the brightest voices in the new-music continuum to emerge in years--along with muscular bassist Trevor Dunn, tenor saxophonist Brian Settles and trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson.Fujiwara is an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: The Air is Different

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Dedicated to his grandparents and inspired in by part by family remembrances, The Air is Different is the second recording from Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, following Actionspeak (482 Music), their impressive 2010 debut. The youthful drummer's flagship ensemble continues to explore the inroads made on its previous album, plotting a memorable course through Fujiwara's fully realized, nonlinear compositions.The quintet's lineup has barely changed since its inception four years ago, with bassist Trevor Dunn now filling Danton ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: Actionspeak

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Actionspeak, by drummer Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, operates as an updated take on Miles Davis' 1960s quintet idea. As a working band, the combination of Fujiwara with bassist Danton Boller, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, guitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonist Brian Settles presents musical entertainment, more than intellectual device, while advancing the ideology of jazz as a viable commodity. This is new music and very easy to love.While this is Fujiwara's first recording as leader, he has been ...


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