From NY and Boston the Aych group (pronounce as "H", a letter shared by all 3's names) presents three improvisers representing some of the best of the new breed of modern jazz based players in a trio without bass and drums.
AYCH (Jim Hobbs, Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum)
As The Crow Flies
Label: Relative Pitch
Released in: USA
Apart from being talented musicians, the three members of the group heard on this recording have one thing in common: the eighth letter of the alphabet. It is the "H" in Hobbs, Halvorson and Ho Bynum that gives this band their phonetic-derived identity-Aych. The three had played and toured together in larger groups but not as a trio. The idea of recording without bass and drums was decided while riding in an elevator, but the results could never be confused with elevator music.
Jim Hobbs, alto sax. Indiana native transplanted to Boston. Received full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, composition major. Met bassistTimo Shanko at Berklee and started the still active Fully Celebrated Orchestra (1987) with more than 10 recordings by that group. Recipient of the Doris Duke New Works Grant for composition from Chamber Music America. Performed and recorded with Joe Morris, Luther Gray,Taylor Ho Bynum, Bill Lowe, Jazz Composers Alliance, Forbes Graham,The Prodigal Suns, Mackie Burnett, Fred Hopkins, Lawrence Cook, Jon Voight, Nightstick, Death's Head Quartet, Josh Roseman, Curtis Hasselbring,The Lunch Factor, Laura Andel, Brother Blue and many others.
Mary Halvorson, guitar. Massachusetts native, now Brooklyn. Switched from violin to guitar in middle school. Summer studies at Berklee and NEC summer programs. Sought classes with Anthony Braxton at Wesleyan University; veteran of several Braxton ensembles and tours. Attended, then taught at the New School of Jazz & Contemporary Music. Leads a trio and quintet. Co-leads a chamber music duo with violist Jessica Pavone. Also co-leads the avant-rock project People with drummer Kevin Shea. In 2008 Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, referred to her as "probably the most original jazz guitarist to emerge this decade." Troy Collins of AllAboutJazz. com said, "The future of jazz guitar starts here."
Taylor Ho Bynum, cornet, various brass. Born in Baltimore, raised in Boston. Studied in high school under Bill Lowe. Earned a BA in music in 1998 and a MA in Composition in 2004 at Wesleyan University, where he studied with saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton. Worked with CecilTaylor's large ensemble. Worked with Bill Dixon on some of his late masterpieces. Leads a sextet and the chamber ensemble SpiderMonkey Strings, co-leads the little big band Positive Catastrophe, works with collective ensembles such as Book of Three, Fujiwara/Bynum Duo,Thirteenth Assembly, OtherTet and Convergence Quartet. Vice president of Festival of New Trumpet (FONT) Music; founding partner of Firehouse 12 Records; president of Anthony Braxton'sTri-Centric Foundation. In City Arts, David Adler writes "Bynum is a quick-witted and virtuosic player, steeped in the flutters, growls and extended techniques associated with the late Bill Dixon, the tunefulness of Don Cherry and bluesy humor of Lester Bowie."
Hobbs wears the producer's hat here. Knowing that Halvorson and Bynum would be in Boston, he booked a studio and composed or repurposed five of his tunes for the trio. The rest of the session was collectively improvised. Three contemporary masters of their respective instruments get to show off their stuff. Hobbs and Bynum play off each other perfectly, a comfort born of work together for 10 years in Hobb's Fully Celebrated Orchestra-where their playing has been likened to Ornette and Cherry-and in Bynum's sextet. On Hobb's memorable tunes, there's some tight ensemble playing for the trio, and some surprising Americana elements-particularly on OverYonder.
On AsThe Crow Flies, each player gets the spotlight for an unaccompanied solo that they make the most of. The group improv takes the prerequisite unexpected turns, with extended technique for guitar, alto sax and trumpet put to frequent use. Not only a power trio but also revealing a wide range of nuances and influences, this music is indeed about the sound of surprise."-Relative Pitch
At The Squid's Ear!
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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR-1004
Squidco Product Code: 15675
Recorded by Joe Stewart at Hummelvision Studio.
Jim Hobbs-alto saxophone
Taylor Ho Bynum-cornet, brass
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1. The First Time (Aych) 3:32
2. As The Crow Flies (Hobbs) 9:10
3. High Noon (Aych) 2:22
4. Keiklonga (Hobbs) 5:25
5. Southern School Of Reality (Aych) 5:17
6. The North Wind (Aych) 1:46
7. Over Yonder (Hobbs) 5:27
8. Forrest Of The Dead King (Aych) 3:27
9. Cydonia's Face Hobbs) 3:53
10. Salamander And Ramona (Aych) 3:29
11. Bimini Road (Aych) 2:00
12. Il Est Escrit Que La Vie Se (Hobbs) 2:57