The Middle Picture

Firehouse 12
Release date
3 Apr 2007
Running length
9 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Brooklyn With An E 8:04 204
2 Woods 7:32 106
3 In A Silent Way 5:15 122
4 mm (pf) 4:31 70
5 Bluebird of Delhi 3:41 219
6 3v2 8:07 99
7 JP & the Boston Suburbs: Parts 1 & 2 9:31 68
8 JP & the Boston Suburbs: Parts 3 (aka Knit & Swim) 6:33 70
9 Apace 6:54 83

About this album

Cornet player Taylor Ho Bynum likes the concept of a suite. For the majority of his spontaneous compositions, he plays partitioned beginning, middle, and end segments. Each staging is distinct, but flows from one to the next with brief pauses. Bynum is a subliminal force on his instrument. He enjoys smaller-ensemble playing within his sextet; rarely do the bandmembers play together all at once. For the selections here, six are from his six-piece ensemble, and two are trio numbers. There are two “covers.” Miles Davis’ “In a Silent Way” is unusual, spacious, and bold, the clangy echoing electric mutant guitars of Mary Halvorson and Evan O’Reilly sounding nothing like John McLaughlin, with the lead instrument being Matt Bauder’s clarinet. Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington’s “Bluebird of Delhi” sounds like it was recorded on the most fun Halloween night ever. The guitars recall Fred Frith, Nels Cline, or Robert Fripp. The large-ensemble improvisations feature mostly low-key dynamics, call and response, and insistent improvs. “Woods” is in the dark woods late at night, but there’s Bauder’s bass clarinet leading into a free-bop clearing. “mm(pf)” utilizes even more stealth undertones that are only somewhat dramatic. “3V2” recalls a Polish dance with very loosely defined transitions, the band wailing at the end. Jessica Pavone is effective on her electric bass guitar, but more so on viola introducing “3v2.” The 17-minute “J.

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