Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stephen Haynes & Taylor Ho Bynum
Double Trio Live at FONT

Engine Records

A wonderful blending of Taylor Ho Bynum's trio and my quartet (minus one) recorded in performance at the Jazz Standard during the Fall of 2006. Original compositions from both principals and arrangements of standards (Ornette/Dizzy) by me.

Dave Douglas' Blog Review of the Concert
September 21, 2006, 02:04 PM

Taylor Ho Bynum and Stephen Haynes gave us a unique take on the double trio format at the Standard last night. On one side Taylor with Mary Halvorson on guitar and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Stephen on the other with Allan Jaffe on guitar and Warren Smith on drums. The sound and compositions were rich and filled the space. It was refreshing to see something so different at a club in New York, and during the particularly abstract moments I found myself beaming at the big sign over the bandstand that says JAZZ STANDARD. Yes, finally!

Both brass players have full sounds, Stephen ranging from airy and transparent to cutting and brassy, Taylor delving often into half-valved burry tones and squiggly lines. The construction of the pieces was ingenious, constantly shifting the relationship of trio to trio, instrument to instrument, melody to melody. Lots of memorable exchanges between Mary and Allan, Tomas and Warren.

When I walked in and saw the stage it seemed there was something wrong with the set-up: Warren Smith had a large kit with a wall of gongs and an orchestral bass drum behind it. Tomas played a small kit arrayed on the opposite side of the stage, almost hiding behind the piano. Once the music started it was clear there was no disparity at all, just two very creative percussionists with two very different sets of instruments. It made for a great evening with a wide variety of sound.

Thanks, Dave.

Read another review at the Free Jazz blog.

Buy a copy. While you're at it, get one for a friend. Tell us what you think of the music. Here in Connecticut, copies can be had at my local record store, Integrity 'N Music.

Distribution through North Country.

You can purchase the CD online at CD Baby.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Playing in the Garden
Knox Parks Foundation/Hartford, CT

From time to time, I get a call to come and provide music for my friends at Knox Parks Foundation. More often than not, I end up playing outdoors in a natural setting. This time, Joe Morris came and joined me, and we played duets together inside the Knox greenhouse on a lovely early spring day as volunteers prepared tomatoes, herbs and other plants for distribution through the network of community gardens here in Hartford. The effervescent Margaux Hayes pulled off her work gloves and booted up her voice to sit in with us. Joe and I may soon record in a duo or trio setting. Stay tuned for details.

Photograph of Stephen Haynes by Jack Hale

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jordan McLean
Piano Music and Song Trio

Just when I thought there were no more interesting new trumpet players, I meet Jordan McLean. I drove down to New York yesterday for the final night of our most recent Go: Organic Orchestra concert series at Roulette. In walks this tall, unusual looking fellow wearing a distinctive fur-lined hat and carrying a Wiseman case.

Our section last night was Graham Haynes, Jordan and I. What a sublime experience, instant chemistry really. Jordan brought along a Benge pocket trumpet and a rotary-valve flugelhorn and some hip mutes (and a hip musical mind). He laid a copy of his new CD, Piano Music and Song Trio, on me. The music is powerful, full of beauty, with an almost meditative quality.

Jordan weaves a musical thread that reveals the aesthetic resonance between the music of Federico Mompou, 12th century troubadours, Siberian folk songs, Charles Ives and Samuel Barber; adding a suite of Jordan’s original compositions; all scored for a lovely chamber ensemble consisting of trumpet, piano, violincello, organ, voice, dobro and jews harp in various combinations.

I won’t even attempt to describe the non-genre-impaired world this young man inhabits so fully and authentically. Go check him out (link to his site through my links list) and buy his CD while you are at it.