The Squid's Ear Magazine


Fujiwara, Tomas (w / Brennan / Reid): 7 Poets Trio (RogueArt)

Drummer Tomas Fujiwara composed these compositions specifically for his trio with Patricia Brennan (vibraphone) and Tomeka Reid (cello), beautifully orchestrated for the unique combination of instruments and the extraordinary technique of each player, resulting in lyrical improvisation performed with a clarity appropriate for each piece's dedication.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Tomas Fujiwara-drums

Patricia Brennan -vibraphone

Tomeka Reid-cello


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UPC: 3760131270952

Label: RogueArt
Catalog ID: ROG-0095
Squidco Product Code: 27934

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: France
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at the Bunker, in Brooklyn, New York, on October 14th 2018, by Aaron Nevezie.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"With the exception of "Questions" (composed about 10 years ago), these compositions were written for Patricia and Tomeka. As I composed, I had the sound and personalities of these two friends in my mind, and imagined a myriad of sonic possibilities for the unique instrumentation of vibraphone, cello and drums. As I wrote, I put soundtracks to the images in my head, the stories of my life, both real and imagined."-Tomas Fujiwara



"Tomas Fujiwara knows how to name his bands - The Hook Up, Triple Double and now we have the wonderfully titled 7 Poets Trio, another unique release from Parisian label RogueArt.

Opening with a rainfall of brushes, 'Blend' meticulously builds and blossoms as we try to place which instrument in the trio could be producing the sound of resonating water glasses.

The gracing beauty of Tomeka Reid's cello draws out contextual atmosphere and a beckoning narrative but hold on - is that an electric piano now?

As the piece develops over its 18 minutes and segues into KP Mexican musician Patricia Brennan's vibraphone becomes fully discernable in its acoustic rendering. Fujiwara's patterns of evolving drumming slowly move to the fore - ever present, yet so subtle in their evocation - a whirring sewing machine of meshed, percussive complexity suspending the trio's living tapestry of sound. As bowed cello moves to pizzicato - and with surprising bounce - Tomeka takes a solo of sorts as her lines cross-weave the intricate interlocking vibe-chimes and revolving drum shapes. These pieces were specifically conceived with the trio's sound-personalities very much in mind.

'A Realm Distorted/Questions' leaps into action with a stop/start rhythm full of two-note stops, imbuing a kind of oblique chamber funk. Ms Reid stealth-walks her bass line then moves into a free-cello squall before the trio descend into full chiming breakdown, to near silence, finally arriving at an almost nursery rhyme-like theme - Ms Brennan vocalizing along as she explores her full tonal palette - before Tomeka closes the piece by artfully drawing melodies in the air.

Fujiwara opens 'Cruisin' With Spencer' with a carefully constructed solo drum foundation, effortlessly mapping out a rolling sound web for Brennan to adorn with a shimmering of clear vibraphonic tones.

Fujiwara's deceptively simple Brooklyn street walking beat carries Spencer with a tip-toeing urban swing that features some of Ms Reid's most accomplished cello 'bass' playing committed to disc, thus far.

'Gentle Soul' begins as a more abstract affair - a trio improvised opening of drum skin, rustled papers, bowed strings and digital vibes. Pulling free of this textural mesh is a plaintive cello refrain of such warmth that it almost becomes a hook - one could dance or cry to this music.

At six minutes - and replete with a false-stop - Ms Brennan tumbles back in with a now distorted sound, turning her vibraphone into a 70s electric organ or flanged electric guitar (maybe even a touch of wah pedal in there) before a short coda ties up the last threads of this moving tapestry.

It is no surprise that every piece here is a dedication and Fujiwara has succeeded in creating a uniquely orchestrated sound for this clearly personal project. There is such generosity, restraint and warmth in both the writing and drumming that lucidly showcases such a diverse array of sounds from the other musicians - at times there could be 7 Poets at play - but always held tightly together with Fujiwara's subtle percussive interlacing.

Intriguing music."-Olle Lawson, The Free Jazz Collective


Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

Artist Biographies

"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)
5/15/2024

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

"Mexican born vibraphonist, marimbist and composer Patricia Brennan has been always surrounded by music. She inherited a deep love and appreciation for musical tradition from both parents, as well as being exposed to the musical richness of her native Port of Veracruz. She started studying music at 4 years old, playing latin percussion along salsa records with her father and listening to Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin records with her mother. Also, around the same age, she started playing piano, influenced by her grandmother who was a concert pianist.

At the age of 17, Patricia was selected from musicians all over the Americas to be part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. During this time, she toured every country in the Americas and performed with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito D'Rivera. Before moving to the U. S., Patricia was already performing with the top symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as Xalapa Symphony Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra. Also, she had already won several awards on marimba competitions and young artist competitions in Mexico and abroad. She was accepted at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was able to perform alongside high caliber musicians from all over the world and conductors such as Simon Rattle and Charles Dutoit. She also performed with the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra and other acclaimed new music groups such as members from Eight Blackbird.

Patricia's search for freedom in her musical expression led her to find her voice through the vibraphone and mallet percussion in improvisational music and composition.

Currently, Patricia is a member of Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus. She is also a member of Blind Spot with Teju Cole, a project led by renowned pianist Vijay Iyer along with bassist Linda Oh and writer Teju Cole. She has also collaborated with Vijay Iyer in other projects, including the large ensemble project Open City and several small ensemble performances along with renowned musicians like bassist Reggie Workman and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. She is also a member of Phalanx Ambassadors, a project led by pianist Matt Mitchell, and she is also a member of Tomas Fujiwara's 7 Poets Trio along with cellist and composer Tomeka Reid. Among Patricia's own projects include the newly recorded solo project Kaleidoscope and MOCH.

Patricia has performed with many renown musicians including singer and composer Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann, saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Scott Robinson, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, drummer Marcus Gilmore, guitarist Mary Halvorson and many others. She has performed in venues such as Newport Jazz Festival, SF JAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, as well as international venues such as Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has also appeared on National Television and Public Radio several times.

Patricia has appeared on several recordings, including an ECM recording with Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus called "The Distance" and Matt Mitchell's featured recordings "A Pouting Grimace" and "Phalanx Ambassadors" under Pi Recordings. Also, Patricia recorded a new record with the Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble called "All Can Work" which was released in January 2018 under New Amsterdam Records. Patricia will be releasing her debut solo album "Kaleidoscope" in 2019."

-Patricia Brennan Website (http://www.patriciabrennanvibes.com/bio)
5/15/2024

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

"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
5/15/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Blend / KP 18:29

2. A Realm Distorted / Questions 16:05

3. Cruisin' With Spencer 8:52

4. Gentle Soul 9:00

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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