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Taylor Ho Bynum
The Middle Picture
Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara
To attempt any assertions concerning Taylor Ho Bynumâ????s music based on his Anthony Braxton association is to sell both men and their work short. Braxtonâ????s music has undergone extraordinary changes of late and he must encourage similarly extensive orchestration in his students. The cover of the Miles Davis/Joe Zawinul classic "In a Silent Way" from Bynumâ????s new sextet recording The Middle Picture depicts an area of music beyond type or category; it draws heavily on the airiness and transparency of the original while growling its updated way through and beyond the trappings of post-rock. The "Boston Suburbs" suite, on the other hand, mainly occupies a neo-classical chamber music space, shared by Satie and Stravinsky, while the two-guitar lineup offsets the polymetrics, Mary Halvorsonâ????s sudden meteors and Evan Oâ????Rileyâ????s precise atmospherics shattering boundaries at every turn.
Bynumâ????s own playing runs the gamut, swinging quickly from subtly transparent and muted antiquity to Bill Dixon-esque growls and shrieks. For the latter, one need look no further than the opening "The Upset" from True Events. But when drummer Tomas Fujiwara enters, the precision of the composition comes to the fore, as the duo engages in staggeringly unified rhythmic interplay. "The Leaning Reflection" shows just how traditionally "in the pocket" Bynum and Fujiwara can be, some sort of pan-Latin groove from the drummer underpinning a beautifully fragmented cornet motif and variations.
Bynum surrounds himself with musicians whose ability to reproduce but transcend notation is second to none. These discs also present ample proof of the continued viability of combining free and fixed forms.
Tracks and Personnel
The Middle Picture
Tracks: Brooklyn with an E; Woods; In a Silent Way; mm(pf); Bluebird of Delhi; 3v2; JP & the Boston Suburbs: Parts 1 & 2; JP & the Boston Suburbs: Part 3 (aka Knit & Swim); Apace
Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet; Matt Bauder: tenor saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet; Mary Halvorson: electric guitar; Evan Oâ????Reilly: electric guitar; Jessica Pavone: viola and electric bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.
Tracks: Wisdom; The Upset; Five Miniatures (Ficciones); Ship; The Leaning Reflection; Akickitaround; Biloxi / Ikuru; The Emperor of Ice Cream; Wisdom (Reprise).
Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.