The Restless Music of Jazz Bassist Michael Formanek

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Often when a jazz bassist takes the lead in a band, the architecture of the music is a highlight. The lines are clean, and the structure is boldly sturdy. This is as true of legends like Dave Holland as it is of mid-career stars like Linda May Han Oh or Dezron Douglas and fast up-and-comers like Nick Dunston. Michael Formanek is an exception; his music is well structured, but he likes a little messiness in mix. And it works. During the last 12 years or so, few can match the bassist’s diverse and stellar output. He has led bands with some of the leading virtuosos in jazz including Tim Berne, Craig Taborn, Mary Halvorson, Ches Smith, and Kris Davis, and he’s a member of the collective trio Thumbscrew with Halvorson and Tomas Fujiwara. Formanek’s music is driven by a strong inner logic, but it’s open to abstraction and diversion and benefits from it. In many ways, it’s a product of the circuitous route he has taken through music.