All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

212

Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara: Stepwise

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Taylor Ho Bynum is one of the most inventive and exciting trumpeters of his generation. Well known for his association with such seminal figures as Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor and Bill Dixon, he is also building a substantial body of work in his own right. Stepwise is his second duet with drummer and longtime ally Tomas Fujiwara, after True Events (482 Music, 2007), which made several best of year lists.

This time out there four compositions, two from the, that are placed together with six jointly improvised cuts in a 43-minute studio date. Both men resist the temptation to overplay inherent in a duo session, and their interplay is spare and focused. Fujiwara has absorbed some of the influence of master percussionist Ed Blackwell in his melodic approach to the drums. Nowhere is this more apparent than on his own pleasingly simple "Keys No Address," where he also demarcates the tune alongside Bynum's puckish cornet, as well as soloing thematically when his turn comes. Bynum is a virtuoso, effortlessly incorporating extended technique into musical discourse. On the title track he inexorably builds tension with a judicious combination of high squeals and muted wah-wah growls, before effectively partaking of a call and response with himself in the opposing registers of his horn. Later on the introduction to his "Iris" he casually deploys a perky vocalized upper register and multiphonic buzz, before a melodic line which oscillates jauntily above Native American drum cadences.

Even with the sparse instrumentation, every piece convinces as complete in itself. "3D" acts as an introductory taster for the fluid dialogue to come: Bynum's careening brass briefly slithering above measured tumbling toms until the fade out. "Comfort" has a lilting melancholic cornet melody cycled over a steady mid tempo rhythm. Bynum's repetitions allow the focus to shift to Fujiwara's subtly varied extemporizations. "Two Abbeys" is another fragment of yelping horn and a loose cowbell pattern, while the longest cut "Splits" matches skittering cornet with tap-laden free drum accents in a more conversational give and take. But even here the sense of purpose, structure and rapport generated by these two young pretenders, becoming old hands, captivates and delights.


Track Listing: 3D; Keys No Address; Stepwise; Two Abbeys; Comfort; Weather Conditions May Vary; Iris; Splits; Detritus; B.C.

Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.

Title: Stepwise | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Not Two Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Enter the PlusTet

Enter the PlusTet

Firehouse 12 Records
2016

buy
Illegal Crowns

Illegal Crowns

Rogue Art
2016

buy
Enter the Plus Tet

Enter the Plus Tet

Firehouse 12 Records
2016

buy
Navigation

Navigation

Firehouse 12 Records
2014

buy
 

Slow and Steady

The James Westfall Podcast
2013

buy
 

Dibrujo, Dibrujo,...

Cuneiform Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Afloat" CD/LP/Track Review Afloat
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Harmony of Difference" CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Nightports" CD/LP/Track Review Nightports
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 8, 2018
Read "Happy Orchestra: Baba" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Orchestra: Baba
by Paul Rauch
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "We Out Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018