Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette – “The Ambiguity Manifesto” (Firehouse 12 Records, 2019)

“The Ambiguity Manifesto” is a new release of “Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette”. This ensemble has an exclusive and modern sound. Sonoristic experiments, adventurous culminations, wild riffs and especially expressive melodies are the main compounds of their compositions. The improvisers don’t hesitate to think outside the box – that’s why they’re getting on moving, thrilling, bright and evocative improvisations. All improvisers are famous musicians and the central figures of avant-garde jazz scene – it’s Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, compositions), Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Bill Lowe (bass trombone, tuba), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Ken Filiano (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone), Tomeka Reid (cello) and Stomu Takeishi (electric bass).

“The Ambiguity Manifesto” is filled with expression and evocative ideas. All musicians are demonstrating their own playing style and developping original, bright and innovative playing technique. Sonoristic experiments, innovative, home-made and specific ways of playing contain the main base of fresh and modern instrumental section. A multi-layed and colorful musical pattern is created. It’s a mix of moods, characters, tunes and colors of all ranges. The music is contrasting, bright and dynamic. Musicians like to get on surprising moody turns, luminous culminations or trembling vibrant riffs. From silent, gentle, murmuring and relaxing pieces music gets annoying, striking, stitching, sometimes – shrieking, shouting, wild and frantic. Blowing riffs, aggressive perturbating blow outs, powerful full blasts of energy accompagnied by vibrato, tremolo, glissando and transcendental passages, are frequently used in the compositions. These episodes played in active, aggressive, sometimes hysteric mood, are gently connected to passionate solos, flowing light passages, tiny ornaments which colorfully illustrate remarkable and simply impressive melodies. That’s the base of the compositions. All music is completely based on free improvisation and avant-garde jazz. Of course, the musicians are searching the links to another styles and genres – contemporary academical music, bebop, hard bop, post bop, cool, mainstream jazz, experimental music, academic avant-garde, the newest innovations and authentic roots of 1960’s avant-garde jazz are gently brought together. An independent and bright melody line is created by reeds, brasses and guitar. Various types of saxophones make a great combo with loud and noisy cornet, bass trombone and tuba. Vivid, expressive and thrilling saxophones are full of blasts of energy, sharp stitches, growling, urgling and frantic riffs, wild culminations which suddenly pass to silent, meditative and contemplative rests. Two great saxophonists Ingrid Laubrock and Jim Hobbs are demonstrating the best capacities of improvising, precise and splendid virtuosity and creativity. Loud, bright, noisy and expressive cornet becomes the main accent of the melody line. Its sudden attacks, rising culminations, perturbating and luminous riffs, hot growls, stitching, blowing, sharp and hysteric solos, dizzy flowing passages and roaring blow outs are gently mixed together by Taylor Ho Bynum. Bass trombone and tuba deep, cracking and heavy tunes create a stable and firm bass line – it also has effective, bright and inspiring sound. Mary Halvorson’s guitar is dynamic and thrilling – here luminous culminations, driving riffs, passionate solos meet frustrated, sharp, hysteric, lyrical, calm, contemplative, dark or solemn, silent and meditative pieces. Her improvisations gently fit together with bass by Ken Filiano, electric bass by Stomu Takeishi and cello by Tomeka Reid. Elegant, virtuosic, swirling, dynamic and simply impressive cello improvisations are illustrated by strange timbres, modifications, electronics, special effects, amplifications and other tunes of electric bass, same as stable, trembling, deep and heavy bass. All three improvisers gently fit together – it forms strong, bright and expressive strings section where free improvisations, spontaneous solos, modern electronics and innovative acousticss are brought together. Drummer Tomas Fujiwara creates a marvelous rhythmic section. It’s effective and expressive, full of giant culminations, frantic riffs, breaking driving sessions which suddenly pass to murmurs, monotonic tappings, steady beats, strange timbres, frottings, intense perturbating rhythms or minimalistic samples. All music of this album has an inspiring, tremendous and expressive sound.

 

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