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Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson): Theirs (Cuneiform Records)

The second of two albums from the reborn Cuneiform label by New York free improvising jazz trio Thumbscrew with long-time collaborators guitarist Mary Halvorson, double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, here presenting compositions from jazz greats Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Nichols, Stanley Cowell, Misha Mengelberg, &c.
 

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product information:


UPC: 04577504412 5

Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog ID: RUNE 441
Squidco Product Code: 26074

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at City of Asylum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 2017.


Personnel:

Mary Halvorson-guitar

Michael Formanek-double bass

Tomas Fujiwara-drums

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track listing:


1. Stablemates 3:42

2. Benzinho 3:27

3. House Party Starting 6:05

4. The Peacocks 6:53

5. East of the Sun 3:21

6. Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair) 4:34

7. Buen Amigo 2:50

8. Dance Cadaverous 6:19

9. Effi 4:34

10. Weer Is Een Dag Voorbij 4:12
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Cuneiform
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New in Improvised Music
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Thumbscrew demonstrates their unique collective musical vision in contrasting but complementary ways on two exciting new CDs. Ours and Theirs are the first to be released on a newly revamped Cuneiform Records, just returning from a hiatus. Comprised of longtime collaborators Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara, and Mary Halvorson, Thumbscrew is a true collaborative effort with all three members contributing at an equal rate both in terms of composition and improvisation.

Born out of a residency at Pittsburgh's City of Asylum where Thumbscrew created their striking second album Convallaria, Ours and Theirs showcase Thumbscrew in two different contexts performing all originals on Ours and all covers on Theirs. Both albums present a meticulous and intuitive original sound that could only be crafted during focused and intensive time as a collective in a place like City of Asylum. "When we arrived at City of Asylum for our second residency in June 2017, we immediately said, 'we're home!'" says Fujiwara, "The feelings we get when being at City of Asylum, around the people that make it such a unique place doing great work...All of this contributes to a creative process that's open and inclusive and experimental."

Tomas, Michael, and Mary are no strangers to each other's work, having performed in a multitude of projects together, including Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus, Tomas Fujiwara and the Hook Up's After All is Said, and most recently, in Mary Halvorson's critically-acclaimed Code Girl.

Ours, as its namesake suggests, is an album of original compositions with Fujiwara, Formanek and Halvorson contributing three works apiece. Opening with Halvorson's striking "Snarling Joys," Ours begins with delicate (and ever so slightly warped) ensemble figures that very naturally develop into an urgent and tense thrill-ride of a track, with a brilliant bass solo from Formanek. Fujiwara's "Saturn Way" shows the ensemble bouncing off of each other's rhythmic framework with Fujiwara anchoring the group through a pummeling rolling tom figure that slowly descends into a spacious and attentive group improvisation. Later, on Formanek's punk-thru-the-wormhole style "Cruel Heartless Bastards" the ensemble shifts metric pulse in total lockstep on the turn of a dime while a teasing 4/4 figure creates a sense of gravity for the entire composition. Halvorson takes the track to the stratosphere with a dizzying guitar pedal laden solo after the group snakes their way through Formanek's labyrinth.

On the contrast between the two records, Halvorson says, "The approach to presenting a unique and personal take on a composition is the same whether it's one of Ours or one of Theirs."-Cuneiform Records


Artist Biographies:

"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.

As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."

-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
9/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"One marker of bassist Michael Formanek's creativity and versatility is the range of distinguished musicians of several generations he's worked with. While still a teenager in the 1970s he toured with drummer Tony Williams and saxophonist Joe Henderson; starting in the '80s he played long stints with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Fred Hersch and Freddie Hubbard. (As a callback to those days, Formanek recorded with hardbop pianist Freddie Redd in 2013). The bassist has played a pivotal role on New York's creative jazz scene going back to the '90s when he notably led his own quintet and played in Tim Berne's barnstorming quartet Bloodcount. Nowadays Formanek's in the co-op Thumbscrew with Brooklyn guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.

Formanek is also a composer and leader of various bands. His principal recording and international touring vehicle is his acclaimed quartet with Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, which records for ECM; 2010's The Rub and Spare Change and 2012's Small Places both earned coveted five-star raves in Down Beat. Formanek writes, and the quartet plays, compositions of great rhythmic sophistication that unfold in a natural sounding way - challenging music the players make sound like lyrical free expression. His occasional groups include the 18-piece all-star Ensemble Kolossus, roping in many New York improvisers he works with. Ensemble Kolossus recorded their first CD of all Formanek originals for the prestigious ECM label in December of 2014. The CD, The Distance was released in February 2016 and in addition to numerous other accolades also received a five-star review in Downbeat!

Formanek's other recordings as leader include Wide Open Spaces and Extended Animation for quintet and Low Profile and Nature of the Beast for seven players (all on Enja), and the solo album Am I Bothering You? (Screwgun). Mirage (Clean Feed) is by the occasional improvising trio of Formanek, tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. Thumbscrew's 2014 debut is on Cuneiform Records. Michael Formanek has also made dozens of recordings as sideman, for among others Dave Ballou, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Burrell, Harold Danko, Marty Ehrlich, Tomas Fujiwara, Gary Thomas and Jack Walrath.

As composer of works for ensembles from duo to mixed jazz and classical orchestra, Michael Formanek has received institutional support from Chamber Music America, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Peabody Conservatory, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. As an educator, Formanek teaches bass and other jazz courses, and leads the Jazz Ensemble at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory."

-Michael Formanek Website (http://www.amibotheringyou.com/bio.html)
9/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Boston in 1977, Brooklyn-based drummer Tomas Fujiwara emerged during the early to mid-2000s as a valued sideman before forming his own quintet, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up, which gathered accolades for blending influences such as Wayne Shorter, Taleb Kweli, and Me'Shell Ndegéocello with the experimental and unpredictable spirit of the 21st century Brooklyn creative jazz scene. After studying for eight years with drummer and educator Alan Dawson in the Boston area, Fujiwara moved to New York at the age of 17. His first performing experiences included a five-year stint beginning around the turn of the millennium with the off-Broadway show Stomp, but he also began appearing as a sideman on jazz recordings (e.g., Three Souls by the Adam Rafferty Trio in 2003) and moving in exploratory, adventurous directions.

Fujiwara developed a particularly strong collaborative relationship with New Haven, Connecticut-based cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, whose own avant-leaning ensembles have featured a number of top Brooklyn improvising musicians. Fujiwara first appeared with Bynum on two 2007 recordings, The Middle Picture by the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet (Firehouse 12) and True Events by the Taylor Ho Bynum/Tomas Fujiwara Duo (482 Music). During the following years, the drummer appeared on the Bynum Sextet albums Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY, 2009), Apparent Distance (Firehouse 12, 2011), and Navigation (Possibility Abstracts X & XI) (Firehouse 12, 2013), and the Bynum/Fujiwara Duo album Stepwise (Nottwo, 2010). Fujiwara is also a member of Positive Catastrophe, a ten-piece outfit co-led by Bynum and percussionist Abraham Gomez-Delgado and inspired by Sun Ra and Latin jazz; the group has released two albums on Cuneiform, Garabatos Volume One (2009) and Dibrujo, Dibrujo, Dibrujo... (2012).

Another musician with whom Fujiwara has often worked, guitarist Mary Halvorson, also often travels in the same creative orbit as Taylor Ho Bynum; like Fujiwara, Halvorson is a member of the Bynum Sextet, and along with Bynum and violist Jessica Pavone, the drummer and guitarist formed the collective quartet the Thirteenth Assembly, which has recorded two albums for the Important Records label, 2009's (un)sentimental and 2011's Station Direct. Fujiwara, Halvorson, and Bynum also appeared as members of the Chicago-New York nonet Living by Lanterns, whose New Myth/Old Science album -- based on fragments of music recorded by Sun Ra in 1961 -- appeared on Cuneiform in 2012. In 2014 Cuneiform released another album featuring Fujiwara and Halvorson, the eponymous debut of Thumbscrew, a collaborative trio also including veteran bassist Michael Formanek.

Fujiwara first assembled his Hook Up quintet in 2008, later describing the bandmembers as "some of the most important musicians in my life" -- and given all of Fujiwara and Halvorson's recorded appearances together in various settings, it was no surprise that the guitarist was in the lineup. Also featuring tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, and bassist Danton Boller, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up released their debut album, Actionspeak, on 482 Music in 2010. Featuring Trevor Dunn on bass in place of Boller, the group's sophomore album, The Air Is Different, arrived (also on 482 Music) in 2012.

The many other projects in which Fujiwara has played as a collaborator or sideman include the Steve Lacy tribute band Ideal Bread, the eight-piece "bhangra funk dhol 'n' brass" outfit Red Baraat, and saxophonist/clarinetist Matt Bauder's acoustic jazz quintet. "

-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tomas-fujiwara-mn0000909926/biography)
9/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Other Releases With These Artists:
Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson)
Ours
(Cuneiform Records)
Halvorson, Mary
Code Girl [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Converse, Connie (Anderson / Patton / Halvorson & Pavone / Haden / Kang / Wainwright / Elysian Fields / Tweedy / Amidon / ...)
Vanity Of Vanities - A Tribute To Connie Converse
(Tzadik)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Enter the Plustet [CD]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Enter the Plustet [VINYL]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary
Away With You [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Fujiwara, Tomas
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Rainey, Tom Trio (w/ Laubrock / Halvorson)
Hotel Grief
(Intakt)
Courvoisier, Sylvie / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)
Thumbscrew (Halvorson / Formanek / Fujiwara)
Convallaria
(Cuneiform)
Braxton, Anthony
3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 [3 CDs]
(Braxton House/Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary
Meltframe
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Fujiwara, Tomas / Ben Goldberg / Mary Halvorson
The Out Louds
(Relative Pitch)
Alcorn, Susan
Soledad
(Relative Pitch)
Halvorson, Mary
Reverse Blue
(Relative Pitch)
Fujiwara, Tomas Trio
Variable Bets
(Relative Pitch)
Johnson, Max / Ingrid Laubrock / Mat Maneri / Tomas Fujiwara
The Prisoner
(NoBusiness)
Bauder, Matt and Day in Pictures
Nightshades
(Clean Feed)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Navigation (Possibility Abstracts X & XI) [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Navigation (Possibility Abstracts XII & XIII) [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Cady, Jason
Happiness Is The Problem
(Lock Step Records)
Halvorson, Mary Septet
Illusionary Sea
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Braxton, Anthony Steptet (with Ho Bynum / Halvorson / Pavone / Rozen / Siegel / Testa)
Echo Echo Mirror House
(Les Disques Victo)
Eskelin, Ellery with Susan Alcorn and Michael Formanek
Mirage
(Clean Feed)
Crump, Stephan / Mary Halvorson (Secret Keeper)
Super Eight
(Intakt)
Halvorson, Mary / Kirk Knuffke / Matt Wilson
Sifter
(Relative Pitch)
Halvorson, Mary
Bending Bridges [2 VINYL LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary Quintet
Bending Bridges
(Firehouse 12 Records)
AYCH (Jim Hobbs, Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum)
As The Crow Flies
(Relative Pitch)
Bynum Sextet, Taylor Ho
Apparent Distance
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bauder, Matt
Day in Pictures
(Clean Feed)
Laubrock, Ingrid
Anti-House
(Intakt)
Arguelles, Julian Trio
Ground Rush
(Clean Feed)
MAP (Halvorson / Nakatani / Radding)
Fever Dream [VINYL]
(TAIGA)
Halvorson Trio, Mary
Dragon's Head
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson / Radding / Wooley
Crackleknob
(Hatology)
Bynum, Taylor Ho Sextet
Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths
(Hatology)
Ideal Bread (Sinton / Knuffke / Radding / Fujiwara)
The Ideal Bread
(KMB Jazz)
Braxton, Anthony
12+1tet (Victoriaville) 2007
(Les Disques Victo)
Braxton, Anthony
Trio (Victoriaville) 2007
(Les Disques Victo)
Braxton, Anthony
9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 [DVD]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Recommended & Related Releases:
Converse, Connie (Anderson / Patton / Halvorson & Pavone / Haden / Kang / Wainwright / Elysian Fields / Tweedy / Amidon / ...)
Vanity Of Vanities - A Tribute To Connie Converse
(Tzadik)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Enter the Plustet [CD]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Enter the Plustet [VINYL]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary
Away With You [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Fujiwara, Tomas
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Courvoisier, Sylvie / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)
Thumbscrew (Halvorson / Formanek / Fujiwara)
Convallaria
(Cuneiform)
Braxton, Anthony
3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 [3 CDs]
(Braxton House/Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary
Meltframe
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Fujiwara, Tomas / Ben Goldberg / Mary Halvorson
The Out Louds
(Relative Pitch)
Alcorn, Susan
Soledad
(Relative Pitch)
Johnson, Max / Ingrid Laubrock / Mat Maneri / Tomas Fujiwara
The Prisoner
(NoBusiness)
Bauder, Matt and Day in Pictures
Nightshades
(Clean Feed)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Navigation (Possibility Abstracts X & XI) [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Navigation (Possibility Abstracts XII & XIII) [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Cady, Jason
Happiness Is The Problem
(Lock Step Records)
Halvorson, Mary Septet
Illusionary Sea
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Braxton, Anthony Steptet (with Ho Bynum / Halvorson / Pavone / Rozen / Siegel / Testa)
Echo Echo Mirror House
(Les Disques Victo)
Crump, Stephan / Mary Halvorson (Secret Keeper)
Super Eight
(Intakt)
Halvorson, Mary
Bending Bridges [2 VINYL LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary Quintet
Bending Bridges
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bynum Sextet, Taylor Ho
Apparent Distance
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Bauder, Matt
Day in Pictures
(Clean Feed)
Laubrock, Ingrid
Anti-House
(Intakt)
Bynum, Taylor Ho Sextet
Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths
(Hatology)
Ideal Bread (Sinton / Knuffke / Radding / Fujiwara)
The Ideal Bread
(KMB Jazz)

Search for other titles on the Cuneiform Records label.