352

Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara: True Events

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara: True Events Duets can be among the most revealing of all jazz performances. With only two voices in the mix, there is nowhere for either individual to hide, so having a strong conversational rapport with one's partner is paramount. Between them, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Tomas Fujiwara share fifteen years of playing experience, and it shows on True Events.

Unimpeded by genre constraints, Bynum and Fujiwara incorporate all matter of inspiration into their purely musical dialogues, drawing from sources as disparate as the rhythmic cadences of hip-hop to the advanced improvisational strategies of Anthony Braxton.

Taylor Ho Bynum's previous album, the expansive Other Stories (Three Suites) (482 Music, 2005), showcased his impressive talents as a composer and arranger, but it left little room for his own solo excursions. Striking a balance in his discography, this intimate session documents a series of stirring duets with his long-term musical peer, Fujiwara. Bynum, an enormously talented soloist, balances virtuosity with expressive tonal effects, drawing an historical line from Lester Bowie to Cootie Williams. Fujiwara is a masterful colorist with a gift for roiling tribal polyrhythms. At their most focused, they invoke the spirits of Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell.

The session yields a plethora of timbral delights, despite the limited palette. Mixing a program of short, pre-written tunes with long-form pure improvisations, they balance the tuneful with the exploratory. Most of the short pieces rely on pre-conceived themes for their content. Sometimes the subject matter manifests itself in an obvious manner, like the playfully experimental "Akickitaround," based on the intricate musical gamesmanship found in Anthony Braxton's work. At other times the influence is more subtle, as on the atmospheric miniature "Biloxi/Ikuru."

Throughout, Bynum and Fujiwara play with sensitivity and abandon, frenzy and restraint, pushing and pulling structural dynamics every which way. The album's epic centerpiece, "The Emperor of Ice Cream," is almost fifteen minutes of unfettered expressionism. The piece is so subtly episodic and nuanced that one would be hard-pressed to guess it was totally improvised, so empathetic is the shared rapport. Building slowly from atmospheric cymbal flourishes to throbbing tribal patterns, whispered mutterings to splintered cries, the piece climaxes with the duo's most assertive playing of the session.

A fascinating counterpart to Bynum's previous release, True Events showcases a side of the up-and-coming cornetist which was undocumented on his previous album.

Visit Taylor Ho Bynum and Tomas Fujiwara on the web.

Track Listing: 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.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: 482 Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Live in Tokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Tokyo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 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!