AMN Reviews: Tomas Fujiwara – Triple Double (2017; Firehouse 12 Records)

There is something about jazz double trios – the opportunity for rhythmic intricacy can make these recordings dense and exciting listens. Drummer Fujiwara is no stranger to the lineup, as he also participated in the aptly titled The Double Trio from Stephen Haynes and Taylor Ho Bynum in 2008. Triple Double, which will be released on October 20, features half of that album’s lineup with Bynum and Mary Halvorson joining Fujiwara on cornet and guitar respectively, as well as Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Brandon Seabrook on guitar, and Gerald Cleaver rounding the group out on drums. The dual-guitar attack of Halvorson and Seabrook has appeared before – on Jacob Garchik’s Ye Olde, as well as live duet performances and (perhaps in a more subdued fashion) with Anthony Braxton. Here, Seabrook’s speed picking and riffing complement Halvorson’s clean, yet twangy offerings. Clearly, the possibilities for such a group are virtually boundless.

On Diving for Quarters, the opening track, the two guitarists kick things off with a twisted, percussive duet before rest of the group joins in for a deliberately-paced outside theme. Bynum and Alessi alternatively wail and employ extended techniques, providing a melody buried deep with their own accents and those of the rest of the group. Fujiwara and Cleaver are an interesting combination, with both playing as if he were the only drummer. Rather than exchanging rhythm and lead roles, the two simultaneously provide their own rhythms with ample fills and improvised structures generating walls of percussion. To that point, they end Diving for Quarters with a duet that is challenging to follow, a little overwhelming, yet satisfying.

Blueberry Eyes follows with opaque layers of rhythm and noise on top of disparate and disjointed melodies. Subsets of four or five members combine and fall apart. But when all six come together, a barely organized chaos ensues. Pocket Pass features some crazed guitar histrionics from Halvorson and Seabrook, and a deceptively catchy lead from Bynum and Alessi. Love and Protest provides a brilliant non-stop racket in which is seems as if no one plays what is expected for the track’s entire seven and a half minutes. Decisive Shadow entails power chords and horn staccatos that would make Nick Didkovsky’s Dr. Nerve wince.

Much more could be written about Triple Double. Fujiwara and company go beyond the “sum of their parts” cliche. The group is in full attack mode early on, letting up only for note-bending interludes. With a heavy emphasis on guitar effects and atmospherics, as well as busy drumming, they build a dense tension that is rarely released. The result is so percussive that I can still feel the reverberations in my chest after the album is over. Can’t imagine what this would be like live. Highly recommended.

The October Revolution in Philadelphia Reviewed

Source: The New York Times

From Thursday through Sunday, audiences at FringeArts in this city’s historic district heard a saxophone distorted through six effects pedals squealing at peak volume, surrealist absurdism from a heritage jazz ensemble, atonal electric harp, and solo flute played in vehement gusts over a track of looming electronics.

The October Revolution in Jazz & Contemporary Music was something like a State of the Union for free improvisation and avant-garde composition, and also a statement of potential. An intergenerational sweep of experimentalists — including younger acts as well as many of free jazz’s first-generation heroes, now in their 70s, 80s and 90s — appeared on a well-appointed stage in a city not known for high-budget jazz presentations. It was a rare institutional moment for the improvising avant-garde and maybe proof that in a moment when jazz is surging, the United States can respect its fringes on a level that only Europe historically has.

Generations at BMOP

Source: BMOP.

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) Presents its Season-Opening Concert of New Music Champions
Guest performances by Matt Haimovitz (cello) and Conor Hanick (piano)
BMOP in Concert: Generations
When: Sunday, October 29, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. (Pre-concert talk at 2:00 p.m.)
Where: NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA, T: Green to Symphony

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation’s premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, kick-starts its 22nd season with an appreciative salute to multi-generational composers and artists who have led and continue to be leading the contemporary music vanguard. Featuring two resolute proponents of new music, guest soloists Conor Hanick (piano) and Matt Haimovitz (cello), the program includes the regional premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s first concerto, as well as pieces by William Schuman, David Sanford, and John Harbison.

Hear in Now on Tour

Source: International Anthem.

Mazz Swift, Tomeka Reid, Silvia Bolognesi

We’re very excited to announce that International Anthem recording artist / trans-Atlantic free-folk string trio HEAR IN NOW will be joining the legendary ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO for 2 performances at London’s Cafe Oto.

After their 19th performance they’ll stick around London for 1 more hit on Sunday October 22nd at Vortex Jazz Club, where they’ll be joined by one of UK’s finest, pianist Alexander Hawkins. From there, Hear in Now will embark on a short run of European shows. Full list of dates:

October 16th – London UK
Hear in Now joins Art Ensemble of Chicago
@ Cafe Oto

October 17th – London UK
Hear in Now joins Art Ensemble of Chicago
@ Cafe Oto

October 19th – London UK
@ Total Refreshment Centre

October 22nd – London UK
Hear in Now with Alexander Hawkins
@ Vortex Jazz Club

October 24th – Padova IT
@ Centro d’Arte

October 25th – Soazza CH
@ Centro Culturale

October 27th – Udine IT
@ Jazz & Wine of Peace Festival