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TOMAS FUJIWARA’S TRIPLE DOUBLE

November / December 2019

https://tomasfujiwara.bandcamp.com/album/triple-double
www.tomasfujiwara.com

“The results are electrifying and relentless. Brainy new-fusion that takes the roof off. One of the most exciting releases of the year.” Michael J. Agovino (Village Voice)

"Fujiwara's compositions have an organic logic with surprising twists and turns that still make eminent sense, and the music is by turns subtly beautiful and fiercely aggressive. Remarkably, despite each having a dynamic personality behind the kit, Fujiwara and Cleaver mesh seamlessly in their percussive rapport, and the entire band feeds off of the collective energy they create.” Troy Dostert (All About Jazz) 

“Fujiwara and company go beyond the ‘sum of their parts’ cliche. The group is in full attack mode early on, letting up only for note-bending interludes…they build a dense tension that is rarely released. The result is so percussive that I can still feel the reverberations in my chest after the album is over. Can’t imagine what this would be like live. Highly recommended.” Mike Borella (Avant Music News)
“Drummer Tomas Fuijwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint...a conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope" (Nate Chinen, The New York Times)

Bandleader, composer, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara possesses a musical dexterity that could go unnoticed if not for its ripple effect. He has brought his rhythmic and compositional imprint to a wide variety of settings – as a member of the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek), in a long-standing duo with Taylor Ho Bynum, and as a supporting member in groups led by Bynum, Halvorson, Matana Roberts, Tomeka Reid, Amir ElSaffar, and Nicole Mitchell. While these collaborative efforts could define and sustain him, a more ambitious musical intelligence emerges on closer inspection.
Tomas’s instincts as a bandleader for assembling inspired combinations of players have enlivened not just his own bands – his namesake trio and his quintet The Hook Up – but have generated new collaborative relationships throughout the creative music scene. For instance, Michael Formanek’s renowned Ensemble Kolossus includes the entirety of The Hook Up. This understanding of how to assemble a band – the different approaches and timbres a group of players bring to a given context – is, in its way, akin to writing conventional melody and harmony, or to understanding how to combine silence and sound in an improvisation. Tomas’s new recording, Triple Double, showcases this gift: viewed as a double trio or a triple duo, its heart lies in the contrasting, shifting and regrouping of the players’ instrumental voices.
Triple Double debuts two encounters on paired instruments: trumpeter Ralph Alessi and cornetist Bynum; and on drums, Tomas and Gerald Cleaver. Additionally, it features Brandon Seabrook and Halvorson, two avatars of contemporary electric guitar. Seen another way, the sextet brings together two longstanding trios: Tomas’s own group with Alessi and Seabrook, and another with his long-time collaborators Halvorson and Bynum. The album features all the possible permutations in a churning group music, highlighting both Tomas’s compositional strengths and the distinct musical personalities of each performer. Through a variety of approaches, including grid patterns, mirrored ensemble play, and a subtle interplay of structure and freedom, Tomas’s compositions offer each musician the chance to display their own formidable technique and vocabulary. The variety of groupings, instrumental shading, and formal contours present a mutable orchestra conforming itself to the composition’s needs.
 
Brooklyn-based drummer and composer Tomas Fujiwara is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his bands Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, The Tomas Fujiwara Trio, and his newest project Triple Double who’s debut was on over 20 Best-of-2017 lists including ones by NPR, The Village Voice, and All About Jazz; his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Mary Halvorson and ‪Michael Formanek‬); and a diversity of creative work with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Matana Roberts, Joe Morris, Nicole Mitchell, Ben Goldberg, Tomeka Reid, Amir ElSaffar, and Benoit Delbecq. 

Line Up

Tomas Fujiwara, drums
Gerald Cleaver, drums
Mary Halvorson, guitar
Brandon Seabrook, guitar
Ralph Alessi, trumpet
Taylor Ho Bynum, cornet

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