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.