274

Song, Newton & Bynum: Trio Ex Nihilo

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Song, Newton & Bynum: Trio Ex Nihilo At its best, improvisation revolves around a shared vocabulary. Traditional jazz often invokes a collection of rhythmic patterns, chord changes, and corresponding scales dictated by protocol. In the case of free improvisation, the field is thrown wide open—leaving the improvisers to their own devices, so to speak. Trio Ex Nihilo, a set of Boston players, documents a particular vocabulary shared by three individuals with local and global experience. (Ironically, their most recent efforts come to us via the Dutch Buzz label.) Trumpeter Bynum has worked with Anthony Braxton, Joe Fonda, and a number of other players; Newton made his mark with Debris and moved on to groups with Braxton, Ken Vandermark, and Joe Morris; and cellist Song has piled up several projects with Matt Turner (ironically, he takes over Turner's role on cello for this recording).

The traditional roles of the trumpet, cello, and drums undergo conscious redefinition on Trio Ex Nihilo. Bynum is as likely to use his instrument for birdlike lines as he is for floating decoration. The trumpet often assumes a microtonal voice-like role in his hands. And rather than playing the cello like a lot of players do—devoting primary attention to the bass line—Song prefers to go for harmonic twists and jabs, mixed with the occasional stark melody. And Newton is anything but a timekeeper on Trio Ex Nihilo. He takes his drum kit and coaxes from it a very sparse collection of accents and colors.

The utter commitment of these players to skirt familiar territory in order to forge new ground means that they're constantly taking risks. Some of their adventures work better than others, for sure—but this trio generally keeps up solid forward momentum on their travels. Relative to a lot of free improv groups, they stick to a pared-down interplay. Often two players will engage in dialogue while the third sits out. And when they're in full swing (so to speak; and that's a rare event in the literal sense) they keep it deliberate, understated, and focused.


Track Listing: Ex Nihilo; The Back of My Mind; Scurrilous; Schwa; Turning the Wheel; Feng Shui Nightmare; Folk Song #8; Blister Pack; All Ways Are Up (for A. Stieglitz).

Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, trumpophone; Jeff Song: cello; Curt Newton: drums.

| Record Label: Buzz Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Voyager" CD/LP/Track Review Voyager
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2016
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Chasing Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Shadows
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Dream Delivery" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Delivery
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "The Music Of Jackie McLean" CD/LP/Track Review The Music Of Jackie McLean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!