Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Convergence Quartet: Bynum, Eisenstadt, Hawkins, Lash

Today we return to Clean Feed Records and their always interesting series of releases covering the new jazz-improv artists active these days.This one is by the Convergence Quartet. Song/Dance (Clean Feed 187) teams Taylor Ho Bynum (trumpet, fluegelhorn), Harris Eisenstadt (drums), Alexander Hawkins (piano) and Dominic Lash (acoustic bass) for a set of well conceived originals, a piece by Leroy Jenkins, and a traditional song from South Africa.

Most reading this will be familiar with Bynum and probably Eisenstadt. I didn't have much previous exposure to Hawkins and Lash. Alexander Hawkins plays a keenly hoven post-Cecil Taylor piano, tuneful, brash or motor-driven depending on what is happening at any point. Mr. Lash gives a worthy set of performances, whether walking or freely diving into the fray. Taylor and Harris do what you might expect. Mr. Bynum gives out with a wide range of expressive devices and well-turned utterances while Mr. Eisenstadt goes where he is needed with splash and attention to the finer points.

What's especially nice about this one though is the group compositional stance, the little or sometimes large thematic elements that get more through-composed treatment than head-solos-head routines. This is a hell of a nice record. If you listen you will be drawn into its world with continual interest and attention, I would think. Thanks for this, Convergence Quartet!

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