Positive Catastrophe Trio At Barbès Tonight

December 21, 2009

A scaled down and more mobile trio version of the 10-piece avant-salsa ensemble Positive Catastrophe will perform the early set tonight at Barbès in Brooklyn.

This new incarnation features Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Reut Regev (trombone) and Abraham Gomez-Delgado (Hybrid Guitar percussion set).

Check out this video of co-leaders Bynum and Gomez-Delgado performing music from the band’s debut Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records) in the Time Out New York offices this past May.

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Bynum-Hébert-Cleaver Trio In Philly Tonight

November 2, 2009

Bynum-Hébert-Cleaver Trio

Tonight at The Rotunda in Philadelphia, the recently formed Taylor Ho Bynum-John Hébert-Gerald Cleaver Trio will finish its three-city tour before heading into the studio tomorrow to record its debut for the RogueArt label.

“These three are pacesetters in modern improvisation, so the very idea of their convergence as a trio is rich with promise,” writes Philadelphia Weekly‘s David R. Adler. “Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum has worked alongside Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and other giants; his own bands include SpiderMonkey Strings and Positive Catastrophe. Bassist John Hébert played with the great Andrew Hill until the pianist’s death in 2007; he’s currently with Fred Hersch and leading his own Byzantine Monkey. Drummer Gerald Cleaver can wail with free-jazz icons like Roscoe Mitchell and Matthew Shipp, then turn around and offer swinging, melodic treasures with his own group Violet Hour. Together, they’ve got six wide-open ears and infinite musical options.”


Positive Catastrophe At New Languages Festival Tonight

September 25, 2009
Photo by Heather Conley

Photo by Heather Conley

Positive Catastrophe will perform tonight at the ongoing New Languages Festival at McCarren Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The brainchild of cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum and multi-instrumentalist/composer Abraham Gomez-Delgado, this self-described trans-idiomatic little big band connects the musical dots between intergalactic jazz legend Sun Ra and iconic Latin Jazz innovator Eddie Palmieri.

The group, which will be performing music from its acclaimed debut release, Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records), also features Mark Taylor (French horn), Reut Regev (trombone), Jim Hobbs (alto sax), Matt Bauder (tenor and baritone sax), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Alvaro Benavides (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums).


Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings At Jazz Gallery Tomorrow

September 18, 2009

Photo by Scott Friedlander

Tomorrow night, cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum and his improvising chamber ensemble, SpiderMonkey Strings, will celebrate the release of their second recording, Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records), with a two-set performance at New York’s Jazz Gallery.

The centerpiece of the record is Bynum’s six-movement title suite—what he calls a secular oratorio—based on his sister’s novel, Madeleine is Sleeping (Harcourt). It also features his distinctive arrangements of music by Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington and Sun Ra that corresponds with the recording’s central theme of “the logic of dreams.”

This is the most recent in a string of well-received recordings featuring Bynum as a leader/co-leader that includes Positive Catastrophe’s Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records), The Thirteenth Assembly’s (un)sentimental (Important Records), and the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet’s Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY).

Created seven years ago, Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings currently features Kyoko Kitamura (voice), Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Jessica Pavone (viola), Tomas Ulrich (cello), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Joseph Daley (tuba) and Luther Gray (drums).


Friday Links

June 19, 2009


It’s been an active week in the blogosphere, so our old friends the Friday Linx are back to share some of their highlights.

Dave Douglas contemplates “Jazz in the Digital Age” in his inaugural guest post on NPR’s new jazz blog, A Blog Supreme.

AccuJazz.com Jazz Brand Director Lucas Gillian shines the spotlight on some of his favorite new releases, including music from Darcy James Argue, The Fully Celebrated, Michael Musillami and Positive Catastrophe among many others.

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Peter Hum tells us Vijay Iyer compsitions are being used as cues on ESPN and explores the many ways jazz musicians can use the Web to snare new fans.

Hypebot reports that digital music will account for 83% of recorded music sales by 2013.

Adam Singer compares Internet marketing to chess at The Future Buzz.


New CD From Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings Coming September 15th

June 17, 2009
Photo by Scott Friedlander

Photo by Scott Friedlander

On September 15th, Firehouse 12 Records will release Madeleine Dreams (FH12-04-01-011), the second recording from cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum‘s improvising chamber ensemble, SpiderMonkey Strings. The seven year-old group features Kyoko Kitamura (voice), Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Jessica Pavone (viola), Tomas Ulrich (cello), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Joseph Daley (tuba) and Luther Gray (drums).

The centerpiece of this release is Bynum’s titular composition, a six-movement secular oratorio inspired by Madeleine is Sleeping (Harcourt), a 2004 novel written by his sister, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and its theme of the logic of dreams. The piece, which the band has performed on tour since its March 2008 debut at New York’s Roulette, draws text from the book, a magical-realist fable of a girl’s coming of age that moves between dreams and reality in 19th century France. Madeleine Dreams also documents Bynum’s distinctive arrangements of music by Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington and Sun Ra.

“Dreams, and the literature of dreaming, including the work of such authors as Borges, Murakami, Okri, and Calvino, are an ongoing artistic inspiration for me,” writes Bynum in the liner notes. “The logic of dreams shows how radically yet naturally one’s subconscious can transform known elements into the surreal, seamlessly moving between the mundane and the fantastic. The remaining pieces are by three of my musical heroes, each of whom embraced dreams, mythology, and fiction in his own way. I also like the idea of SpiderMonkey Strings as a most unusual kind of repertory band.”

Named after two mythical tricksters, Anansi the Spider of West Africa and the Monkey King of China, Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings has performed a diverse range of extended suites with a genre-defying spirit and an amiable sense of humor since 2002. The band first took shape as a string quartet with cornet and guitar created to perform music Bynum wrote for a short film score. He later added tuba and drums and began writing eclectic long-form works for the group, which he documented on its 2005 debut, Other Stories [Three Suites] (482 Music). The recent addition of Ms. Kitamura furthers the evolution of the group’s sound by bringing the implicit narrative elements of Bynum’s music to the forefront.

Critics have called Bynum “a young brass master and compelling composer” (Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix), “a remarkable writer, improviser and bandleader” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “one of the most exciting figures in jazz’s new power generation” (Steve Dollar, Time Out Chicago). “Over the past decade,” wrote Kevin Le Gendre in Jazzwise, “Bynum has shown himself to be a worthy addition to the canon of maverick trumpeters that includes such illustrious names as Wadada Leo Smith, Ron Miles, Cuong Vu and Arve Henrikson.” The Chicago Reader‘s Peter Margasak adds, “Taylor Ho Bynum cemented his reputation as one of the most compelling and progressive trumpeters and bandleaders currently active, at home in every corner of the creative-music map.”

Bynum’s expansive resume includes collaborations with both his contemporaries and legendary figures alike, most notably the iconic saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton, with whom he has performed and recorded extensively over the past decade. His most recent releases as a leader/co-leader include Positive Catastrophe’s Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records), The Thirteenth Assembly’s (un)sentimental (Important Records), and the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet’s Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY). He is also a member of such groups as The Convergence Quartet, Jason Kao Hwang’s Edge, the Joe Morris Bass Quartet and the large ensembles of Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor. In addition, he is a curator and board member for the Festival of New Trumpet (FONT) Music and a partner in Firehouse 12 Records.

Learn more at http://www.taylorhobynum.com


TONY Live Review: Positive Catastrophe

May 11, 2009
Photo by Laal Shams/Hank Shteamer

Photo by Laal Shams/Hank Shteamer

Time Out New York‘s Hank Shteamer reviews the opening night of Positive Catastrophe‘s CD release concerts at Jazz Gallery this past weekend in the publication’s blog, The Volume, calling the event “an excellent showcase for the band’s singular blend of the festive and the avant-garde.”

The group was celebrating the release of its debut recording, Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records).