Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up–Jazz Gallery, April 29


[I’m only now getting acquainted with the music of Tomas Fujiwara, mostly through YouTube so far. I first noted his presence as part of the The Thirteenth Assembly, a sort of super-group of NYC’s rising sons and daughters of jazz that also includes Jessica Pavone on violin and guitar goddess Mary Halvorson under the nominal leadership of trumpeter/writer Taylor Ho Bynum (whose blog offers unique insight on the genre from a professional’s perspective). All four members are active on the scene in numerous incarnations. Fujiwara also plays in duo with Bynum; their newest CD, “Stepwise”, is out on the Polish label Not Two Records.

Fujiwara is leading his own band into the Jazz Gallery, one of the singular spots for live music in the Apple, on the 29th. (The same group also plays The Firehouse in New Haven, CT on the 30th.) I saw Dana Leong there in 2006, with Aviv Cohen, Baba Israel and John Shannon, and I’ve been a stone-cold mark for the place ever since. If money were no object, I’d be on a plane first thing in the morning for a long working weekend up north; I’m sure there’s all kinds of stuff going on there. Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up are releasing their first album, “Actionspeak”, on 482 Music, which also released the first duo album with Bynum, “True Events”More on the group, and its leader, courtesy a mass-mailing from his Facebook page.]

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up

Tomas Fujiwara – Drums
Danton Boller – Bass
Mary Halvorson – Guitar
Brian Settles – Tenor Saxophone
Jonathan Finlayson – Trumpet

With “a quiet energy that propels” (All About Jazz) and a style that is “both volatile and watchful” (New York Times), Tomas Fujiwara’s “alert drumming has propelled some excellent ensembles on the new-music landscape” (New York Times). He has appeared at the Jazz Gallery on numerous occasions with, among others, Taylor Ho Bynum, Matana Roberts, Amir ElSaffar, and Positive Catastrophe. He performs regularly with Sunny Jain’s Red Baraat, Josh Sinton’s Ideal Bread, Matt Bauder’s Day in Pictures, and Matt Welch’s Blarvuster as well as co-leading and composing for The Tomas Fujiwara / Taylor Ho Bynum Duo and The Thirteenth Assembly.

For tonight’s performance, his first Gallery appearance as a leader, Tomas presents his original compositions performed by his quintet, The Hook Up. They will perform compositions from their forthcoming album, Actionspeak (September 2010 release on 482 Music) as well as the premiere of two new pieces. With inspiration ranging from Wayne Shorter to Haruki Murakami to Talib Kweli, Fujiwara’s pieces deal with the intersection of composition and improvisation as well as concepts of shifting roles within an ensemble. “Fujiwara’s writing marries postbop elegance to propulsive groove and subtle abstraction.” (TimeOut New York). WWW.TOMASFUJIWARA.COM

sets at 9 & 10:30

The Jazz Gallery–290 Hudson St., Manhattan, NY; (212)242-1063


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