Saturday, November 2, 2013

Navigating the Endless Possibilities at Real Art Ways with THBynum & Fay Victor

On November 12, 2 fascinating new CDs will be released.  Saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Marty Ehrlich presents "A Trumpet In The Morning" (New World Records), a program created for large ensembles that builds on his past and shows his continuing excellence as a musician and, now, his brilliant arrangements.

Also on that day, cornetist/composer/arranger Taylor Ho Bynum releases "Navigation: (Possibility Abstracts X-XIII" (Firehouse 12 Records), a 4-album set that combines composition with improvisation in ways that not only show the influences of the late Bill Dixon, Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith has had on the composer. In Bynum's words, the piece "is broken into six movements, each with a markedly different idiomatic identity, that can be re-ordered by the band members during each performance. This approach is meant to maximize the freedom, choice, and agency of the musicians while still maintaining a strong compositional structure. The musicians are encouraged to take their time (and take risks) in exploring each section, embracing both silence and chaos in every performance."

"Abstracts X & XI" are being issued as a limited edition double-LP and features Bynum's Sextet of Mary Halvorson (electric guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Bill Lowe (bass trombone, tuba), Ken Filiano (acoustic bass), and Tomas Fujiwara (drums, vibraphone).  Recorded live in the performance space of Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT, on Friday December 7, 2012, the music goes in myriad directions, with elements of "free" music, blues, swing, and much more. "Abstractions XII & XIII" are being released as a double-CD - recorded the very next day in the same space (this time, in the "recording studio" space), drummer/vibraphonist Chad Taylor makes the ensemble a 7-Tette.  Both the LP and CD sets come with a complimentary download coupon for the entire set so the listener has the ability to mix and match the sounds.

Taylor Ho Bynum brings the Sextet to Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street in Hartford on Thursday November 7, the first night of 4 consecutive gigs for the group.  On subsequent nights, the ensemble plays The Lilypad in Cambridge, MA, The Jazz Gallery in New York City and Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. - for more information, go to

On Saturday November 16, the "Improvisations" series continues at RAW.  This month, series curators Stephen Haynes (trumpet) and Joe Morris (guitar, bass) welcome Fay Victor, one of the finer vocalist/improvisors to emerge on the creative music scene in the last decade.  If you have never seen her perform live, she is joy incarnate.  She scats, she wails, coos, squalls, caresses, plays with words as if writing a play on stage, and does so with a twinkle in her eye.  One can hear influences ranging from Nina Simone to Frank Zappa to Bill Dixon to Jimi Hendrix in her music - it should be a gas to see and hear how she interacts with Messrs. Haynes and Morris.

Ms. Victor has a new CD being released this coming Tuesday (11/05) - "Absinthe & Vermouth" features her ensemble of Ken Filiano (bass, effects) and Anders Nilsson (electric guitar, effects), their 4th CD together and first without a drummer.  The interaction of the FVEnsemble is intuitive, challenging, joyous, raucous, "cool" without being chilly and worth listening to with both ears open.

I'll have a review of the CD in a week or so but, to find out more, go to to find out more.

You can buy tickets to both these events and find out more about what Real Art Ways is doing by going to  

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