Jazz trio Thumbscrew celebrates 10 years collectively on ‘Multicolored Midnight’ : NPR

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From the start, Thumbscrew has had a factor for off-kilter rhythms and shifting accents. This new album is full of idiosyncratic tunes — music befitting of the idiosyncratic band.



DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The primary time the three members of Thumbscrew all performed collectively, when bassist Michael Formanek subbed in a band with Mary Halvorson on guitar and Tomas Fujiwara on drums, they immediately clicked and resolved to make a band. Their new album celebrates 10 years collectively. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has extra.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMBSCREW’S «SONG FOR MR. HUMPHRIES»)

KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: The trio Thumbscrew from their new album «Multicolored Midnight» on the Cuneiform label. From the start, Thumbscrew have had a factor for off-kilter rhythms and shifting accents. Thundering bassist Michael Formanek and surefooted drummer Tomas Fujiwara could make lopsided patterns sound offhand and less complicated cycles deceptively slippery. It makes for roving, stressed rhythm, good stimulus for a soloist.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMBSCREW’S «I’M A SENATOR»)

WHITEHEAD: That is the singular guitarist Mary Halvorson’s third album of 2022. She launched a pair below her personal title final spring, together with a very tremendous «Belladonna» for guitar and string quartet. Halvorson combines a conventional jazz guitarist pick-heavy assault with sparing however pivotal use of electronics to bend pitches and to separate sure notes in two as in the event that they’re shredding unstable subatomic particles.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMBSCREW’S «I’M A SENATOR»)

WHITEHEAD: Prime guitarists do encourage imitators, however nobody I’ve heard feels like Mary Halvorson. Thumbscrew do the punchy stuff so properly they might follow that. However that is no one-trick band particularly now that Tomas Fujiwara typically swaps out his drums for vibraphone. That opens up the feel. And bassist Michael Formanek may choose up his bow to play low, moaning melody to emphasise that sonic expanse. The trio turns into a chamber ensemble.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMBSCREW’S «FUTURE RERUNS AND NOSTALGIA»)

WHITEHEAD: So the music’s not all about showcasing guitar. Vibraphone, rather than drums, offers Thumbscrew a vivid, instrumental colour to play with. And it is not like they want drums to drive them on. They’re self-propelled.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMBSCREW’S «S*** CHANGES»)

WHITEHEAD: A decade on with seven information to their credit score, Thumbscrew sound like they’re nonetheless rising whilst they consolidate their good points. Typically, the trio’ll play music by different jazz composers from Benny Golson to Anthony Braxton. However they do greatest, as on the brand new «Multicolored Midnight,» after they play their very own materials, idiosyncratic tunes to suit an idiosyncratic band.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMBSCREW’S «MULTICOLORED MIDNIGHT»)

DAVIES: Kevin Whitehead is the creator of the guide «Play The Means You Really feel: The Important Information To Jazz Tales On Movie.» He reviewed «Multicolored Midnight,» the brand new CD by the band Thumbscrew. Arising, David Bianculli evaluations the musical biopic parody «Bizarre: The Al Yankovic Story» starring Daniel Radcliffe. That is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF RARE EARTH SONG, «HEY BIG BROTHER»)

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