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Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: The Middle Picture

For a guy who claims membership in Cecil Taylor’s large ensemble and several of Anthony Braxton’s groups, Taylor Ho Bynum is a surprisingly accessible musician. The Brooklyn-based cornetist avoids many of the avant-garde’s hoarier clichés, opting instead for a clipped-and-breathy style that evokes the breeziest of explorers, melody-minded musicians such as Don Cherry and Lester Bowie. On both The Middle Picture, a sextet recording, and True Events, a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, Bynum serves first and foremost as an anchor. He may emit the occasional squeak or skronk, but he never lets the performances drift too far into the unknown.

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