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Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double: March (Firehouse 12)

A review of the drummer/leader's second release under the Triple Double moniker

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Tomas Fujiwara's Triple Double: March
The cover of March by Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double

Recalling the double lineup of Ornette Coleman’s 1961 release Free Jazz, drummer/leader Tomas Fujiwara releases his second album under the Triple Double moniker, March. Simultaneously energizing dual configurations within a sextet—Fujiwara (on drums and vibraphone) and drummer Gerald Cleaver, trumpeter Ralph Alessi and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, and guitarists Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook—March is brilliantly mad, joyously improvisational, cathartically cleansing.

The perfect companion to two years of isolation, this music frees your spirits and clearly makes the musicians’ soar. Opener “Pack Up, Coming for You” is set afire by Halvorson’s strafing guitar missiles before the second trio moves in, rubbing salt in wounds, furious drumming and piledriving guitar nearly disemboweling Bynum’s cornet. “Life Only Gets More” swings regally; tender guitar massages gentle ride cymbal as Alessi tosses out liquid frisbees to coat the proceedings.

It all goes happy-hour punch-drunk in the dual-drummer assault of “Wave Shake Angle Bounce,” with ominous tritones backing gleeful guitar and trumpet as Fuijiwara and Cleaver bash and bleed. The sextet briefly plays unison lines, before Seabrook rips off the scab and lets it flow. The title tune supports a “Fractured Fairy Tale” sort of tango cadence; “Docile Fury Ballad” suggests ’70s Jamie Muir-era King Crimson humorously deconstructed by Frank Zappa. “For Alan, Part II” closes March with Cleaver and Fuijiwara playing a nearly soothing double-drum solo in varying hues of grandeur.

Learn more about March on Amazon & Apple Music!

Tomas Fujiwara: Cinematic Structures

Ken Micallef

Ken Micallef was once a jazz drummer; then he found religion and began writing about jazz rather than performing it. (He continues to air-drum jazz rhythms in front of his hi-fi rig and various NYC bodegas.) His reportage has appeared in Time Out, Modern Drummer, DownBeat, Stereophile, and Electronic Musician. Ken is the administrator of Facebook’s popular Jazz Vinyl Lovers group, and he reviews vintage jazz recordings on YouTube as Ken Micallef Jazz Vinyl Lover.