The Angel City Jazz Festival presents:
Mary Halvorson - guitar | Michael Formanek - bass | Tomas Fujiwara - drums
Joel Harrison's Spirit House
Joel Harrison - guitar | Cuong Vu - trumpet | Paul Hanson - bassoon | Jeff Denson - bass | Brian Blade - drums
Named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, Washington D.C. native Joel Harrison has long been recognized as a highly gifted guitarist, composer, arranger, vocalist and songwriter. A survey of Harrison’s body of work would be a bit like spinning a globe and stumbling on regions with names like Duke Ellington, Hendrix, The Beatles, John Mclaughlin, and Charles Ives. Wielding a focused lens and an ever-increasing courage to take risks with his art, Harrison has quickly blossomed from mentorships with Joan Tower, Ali Akbar Khan and Charlie Banacos into one of the most respected artists of his generation.
Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition, and has received support from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the Flagler Cary Trust, NYSCA, New Music USA, and the Jerome Foundation. He has released 17 cds since 1995 as a leader and has appeared high up on the “Rising Star” Downbeat Magazine poll for many years. In 2014 he released Mother Stump (Cuneiform), and finally put himself out front as a guitarist, leading a trio that catalyzes numerous American guitar styles.The newest CD is Spirit House ( Whirlwind Recordings) with a stellar quintet of Cuong Vu (trpt), Paul Hanson (bassoon), and Brian Blade (drums).
“Thumbscrew is a very exciting group that highlights intricate and emotionally-driven compositions focused on intense interactions between instruments. One of the most exciting bands currently playing” — Cisco Bradley, jazzrightnow.com
The trio Thumbscrew came about by accident, after bassist Michael Formanek subbed in a band including guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Something special happened among them right away, so they formed a trio, a co-operative in the truest sense. They play originals by all hands, compositions whose rhythms may surge or lag or veer sideways according to their own internal logic. Bass and drums solo within the ensemble, not in quarantine. No one needs to be loudest. The blend is tight: one string (or metal) sound may bleed into another. It’s something to hear—something twisty and turny and always on the move.