The Double Trio by Stephen Haynes and Taylor Ho Bynum in a live recording at the Jazz Standard from the Festival of New Trumpet Music in September 2006.
Haynes, Stephen / Bynum, Taylor Ho
Released in: USA
"Taylor Ho Bynum and Stephen Haynes gave us a unique take on the double trio format at the Standard last night. On one side Taylor with Mary Halvorson on guitar and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Stephen on the other with Allan Jaffe on guitar and Warren Smith on drums. The sound and compositions were rich and filled the space. It was refreshing to see something so different at a club in New York, and during the particularly abstract moments I found myself beaming at the big sign over the bandstand that says JAZZ STANDARD. Yes, finally!
Both brass players have full sounds, Stephen ranging from airy and transparent to cutting and brassy, Taylor delving often into half-valved burry tones and squiggly lines. The construction of the pieces was ingenious, constantly shifting the relationship of trio to trio, instrument to instrument, melody to melody. Lots of memorable exchanges between Mary and Allan, Tomas and Warren.
When I walked in and saw the stage it seemed there was something wrong with the set-up: Warren Smith had a large kit with a wall of gongs and an orchestral bass drum behind it. Tomas played a small kit arrayed on the opposite side of the stage, almost hiding behind the piano. Once the music started it was clear there was no disparity at all, just two very creative percussionists with two very different sets of instruments. It made for a great evening with a wide variety of sound.
Stephen Haynes is an improvising composer, arts advocate and educator; a product of the historic and fertile Black Music Division at Bennington College, directed by Bill Dixon. Mr. Haynes' early foundational studies were with Frank Baird, who chaired the brass department at the University of Colorado's Boulder campus during the '60s and '70s. He is a charter member of Cecil Taylor's AHA! Orchestra and serves on the boards of directors for Y'All of New York and Spectrum in Motion Dance Theater Ensemble. Over the years he has worked with a range of musicians, with a primary interest in large ensembles and composition: George Russell, LaMonte Young, Butch Morris, Rhys Chatham, Bill Dixon, Leroy Jenkins, JD Parran, Adam Rudolph, Gunter Hampel and the Dells.
Taylor Ho Bynum is a performer on cornet and various brass instruments, composer, bandleader, and interdisciplinary collaborator with artists in dance, film, and theater. Bynum is committed to the further exploration of the extensions of composition and improvisation pioneered by 20th century masters like Ellington, Ives, and the AACM, but with a third millennial flavor and a trickster sensibility. He presently leads his Trio, his Sextet, and the nine-piece ensemble SpiderMonkey Strings, and has developed a body of solo music for cornet and duo work with dancer/choreographer Rachel Bernsen. In addition to leading his own groups, Bynum regularly performs with some of the most innovative figures in creative music, such as Anthony Braxton and Cecil Taylor, and has ongoing collaborations with such artists as Bill Lowe, Jason Kao Hwang, Joe Morris, Miya Masaoka, Stephen Haynes, Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng, Nate Wooley, Tomas Fujiwara, and the Fully Celebrated Orchestra. He is featured on over forty recordings, and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. His work with Anthony Braxton spans over ten years and ranges from duo to orchestra, with recent tours throughout Europe and North America and several new recordings. Their CD Duets (Wesleyan) 2002 has received wide critical acclaim."-Dave Douglas, Festival for New Trumpet Music founder (from his blog)
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"Taylor Ho Bynum (b. 1975) has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation - through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. As heard on over twenty recordings as a bandleader, Bynum's expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention as one of the singular musical voices of his generation. He currently leads his Sextet and 7-tette, and works with many collective ensembles including a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, the improv trio Book of Three, the UK/US collaborative Convergence Quartet, the dance/music interdisciplinary ensemble Masters of Ceremony, and the trans-idiomatic little big band Positive Catastrophe.
His varied endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he serves as executive director, producing most of Braxton's recent major projects). In addition to his own bands, his ongoing collaboration with Braxton, past work with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, and current collective projects with forward thinking peers, Bynum increasingly travels the globe to conduct community-based large ensembles in explorations of new creative orchestra music. He is also a published author and contributor to The New Yorker's Culture Blog, has taught at universities, festivals, and workshops worldwide, and has served as a panelist and consultant for leading funders and organizations. His work has received support from Creative Capital, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, USArtists International, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation."-Taylor Ho Bynum website (http://taylorhobynum.com/)
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• Show Bio for Tomas Fujiwara
"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)
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• Show Bio for Mary Halvorson
"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/)
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Taylor Ho Bynum
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1. HeBeSheBeWeBe Set I 8:57
2. YX6C 6:09
3. Broken Shadows 5:37
4. HeBeSheBeWeBe Set II 4:36
5. Suite Miscellaneous: Trio Due 2:29
6. Suite Miscellaneous: mm(pf) 6:27
7. Suite Miscellaneous: Miscellaneous 4:45
8. Kush 6:04
9. Notes from an Autumn Diary 8:02
Track 3 by Ornette Coleman; track 8 by Dizzy Gillespie; tracks 2, 5, 6, 7 by Taylor Ho Bynum