Illegal Crowns (Halvorson / Fujiwara / Delbecq / Ho Bynum)
A cooperative band of mostly NY improvisers-- Mary Halvorson on guitar, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet & flugelhorn, and French pianist Benoit Delbecq, recording in the studio for a album of uniquely unusual and rewarding compositions from all players.
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Catalog ID: Rog-0066
Squidco Product Code: 22321
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded At Studio de Moudon, in Meudon, France on May 18th, 2014, by Julien Basseres.
Benoit Delbecq-piano, prepared piano
Taylor Ho Bynum-cornet, flugelhorn
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1. Colle and Acrylique 6:25
2. Thoby's Sister 6:33
3. Illegal Crown 9:08
4. Holograms 4:14
5. Solar Mail 7:25
6. Wry Tulips 14:44
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"We treasure the long-time collaborators who share the same commitment to the creative journey, and we thrill at meeting new partners who converse with the same hybridized and willfully corrupted musical vocabulary. A cooperative project like Illegal Crowns celebrates all of the above.
Illegal Crowns: a group both old and new, music accessible and experimental, a name revolutionary and royal. Four individuals and one ensemble, in the kind of harmony that needs no resolution. "-Taylor Ho Bynum, excerpt from the liner notes
• 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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• 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 Benoit Delbecq
"Benoît Delbecq was born in St Germain en Laye (F), June 6, 1966. He lives in Bondy, near Paris. A dreamer and an adventurer in music, pianist/composer/producer Benoît Delbecq has been one of the activists of Hask (1992-2004) and Astrolab (1994-1999), two Paris-based cutting-edge jazz/improv collectives that have contributed to significantly revitalize the french creative music scene around the club Instants Chavirés in Montreuil/Paris. His music and projects include works for theater, dance, litterature, visual arts and motion pictures, that are being regularly invited by major festivals worldwide. He has released about 35 records as a leader or co-leader among a discography of more than a hundred discs.
Anchored in both jazz history as well as in aesthetical stakes of today's new musics, Delbecq's works are world-widely acclaimed since the early nineties. He is a renown specialist for a personal and polymetric approach of "prepared piano", and has also an regular activity in the electronic department. His works are experimenting a blend of improvisation and composition in which he reveals a rich pallet of sounds, enlightened by stratas of multiple momentums, articulations and seemingly floating harmonies. Inspired by alternative urban musical experiments and electronic music adventures, he also improvises a personal approach of drum'n bass and ambient.
Benoît was awarded 'Prix jeunes affiches de la SACEM' in 1995 with group KARTET, prix de la Villa Médicis Hors-les-murs 2001 for his first solo piano recording " Nu-Turn " (Songlines, 2003), was awarded with the fellowship of Civitella Fundation (New York, 2009), was awarded in 2010 a double Grand Prix International du Disque (Académie Charles Cros, the French Grammy Awards), and his trio CD "The Sixth Jump " (Songlines) was listed in the New York Times top ten jazz/pop records of 2010. His works for the Fred Hersch/Benoît Delbecq FUN HOUSE double trio (premiered and recorded in May 2012, to be released FEB 2013) have recently received the French Ministère de la Culture " Commande d'Etat " funding. Recently he was commissioned by JAZZTOPAD Festival in Wroclaw (Poland) for a new piece for the Lutoslawski String Quartet and two improvisers (Miles Perkin on bass and himself on piano)."-Benoit Delbecq Website (www.delbecq.net/bd/bd2biography.html)
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• Show Bio for Taylor Ho Bynum
"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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