Thursday, November 17, 2011

Listening Booth, week 46, 2012: Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet

  • Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: Apparent Distance (Firehouse 12) - A four piece suite, originally commissioned through a New Jazz Works grant. The sextet consists of Ho Bynum on trumpet, Jim Hobbs (of Fully Celebrated "fame") on alto sax, Bill Lowe on bass trombone and tuba, Mary Halvorson on guitar, Ken Filiano on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Ho Bynum and Halvorson has played under the tutelage of Anthony Braxton, but there's not a whole lot of traces of him here, barring the odd twirling theme here and there. The obvious center piece of the album is the 20 minute long "Source", where Ho Bynum and Halvorson play interweaving melodic lines that Hobbs and Lowe eventually join in on and create their own paths out of, over Filiano and Fujiwara's funky and propulsive rhythms. The piece builds to a cacophonous crescendo during Hobbs' solo, and slides back into grove. There are a lot of interseting things going on here, with Hobbs in particular shining alongside Ho Bynum, while Halvorson often stays in the background for long sections, riffing with Filiano to help create dense grooves. 7*
* Grades are tentative, based on three or four listens, though quite often a few more. Much of the writing is done during listens, and should be considered notes rather than final reviews.

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