Theirs

Theirs by Thumbscrew.
Bandcamp Link: Theirs

Again, Thumbscrew is Michael Formanek, Bass; Tomas Fujiwara, Drums; Mary Halvorson, guitar.

Thumbscrew released two albums on the same day earlier this year, one called “Ours” and one called “Theirs”. It wasn’t until I came to listen to “Theirs” today that I realized why they were named such. “Ours” is all original tunes by the band. “Theirs” is all tunes by other composers.

I hesitate to call these “standards” as the songs are, as they say, “Deep Cuts” from composers like Bennie Golson, Herbie Nichols, Wayne Shorter, Stanley Cowell, and Misha Mengleberg.

They are all mostly ballads.

After the inventive playing and compositions on “Ours”, I find the more conservative tack of “Theirs” a tad disappointing.

The melodies are handled by the guitar player Halvorson, occasional solos are given to bass player Formanek, and the drummer mostly sticks to brushes.

It’s not that it is a bad record, it just feels kind of predictable. Which is odd for a group of musicians as talented and interesting as these are. But, maybe being “predictable” for these musicians is being “unpredictable”? I guess, ultimately, I’d say, if you liked the sound and interactions on “Ours”, but found it a bit too eclectic for your tastes, maybe “Theirs” is the album for you.

#Thumbscrew #Theirs #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #MaryHalvorson #TomasFujiwara #MichaelFormanek

2017-11-03 Paimon: The Book of the Angels Volume 32

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Paimon: The Book of Angels Volume 32. Mary Halvorson Quartet plays Masada Book Two.

Label Link: Paimon

Oddly, this is a fairly traditional Jazz album by Mary Halvorson, Miles Okazaki, Drew Gress, and Tomas Fujiwara. Two guitars, Bass, and Drums, respectively. For the most part both Halvorson and Okazaki keep their guitar tone fairly dry, limiting digital effects to the odd flourish.

Well, I suppose, “Fairly Traditional Modal Jazz in a Klezmer style”, would be a more accurate way to describe this album.

The impressive thing is the way the two guitarists double each other at intervals, playing the melodies with harmonies, rather than the traditional lead and rhythm guitar type arrangement. A nice bass solo from Gress and some impressive cymbal work from Fujiwara round out the album.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #MaryHalvorson #Paimon #Tzadik #MaryHalvorsonQuartet #TomasFujiwara #DrewGress #milesokazaki