Here, There & Everywhere: The curious evolution of cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum
By Ted Panken
As an instrumentalist, Bynum improvises with sound and silence in the manner of Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Dixon and Lester Bowie. He maintains a tangible narrative arc and pulse within his solos, weaving a cohesive sonic fabric from precisely executed screams, squawks, blurts, burbles, whispers and more conventionally rendered notes and tones. The feel is conversation, never didactic. As a composer, he deftly assigns his bandmates different characters and roles, finding, as [Mary] Halvorson puts it, “great moments and great platforms for each person in the band to shine.” Each frontline protagonist has a highly typed sound, yet they blend as one in the ensembles. Notated sections sound improvised; improvised sections sound composed.