Thumbscrew, The Anthony Braxton Project, Cuneiform

Thumbscrew have managed, a little like the codebreakers in the second world war, to crack the seemingly uncrackable. They locate what makes Anthony Braxton tick here with this by turns punky thrash and serene contemplation of the more obscure work …

Published: 27 Jul 2020. Updated: 7 days.

Thumbscrew have managed, a little like the codebreakers in the second world war, to crack the seemingly uncrackable. They locate what makes Anthony Braxton tick here with this by turns punky thrash and serene contemplation of the more obscure work of the master. In the process of celebrating his 75th birthday they take on previously unrecorded pieces by Braxton from the vaults and you'd be surprised what they find, a stubornly swinging treat on 'Composition No 79' for instance; or the gravity defying momentum achieved on 'Composition No 52' and that's just for starters. The stripped back trio [Tomas Fujiwara - drums and vibraphone; Mary Halvorson - guitar; Michael Formanek - double bass] open up the material and let it breathe in exhilarating fashion.

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albums

Tony Davis, Golden Year, Posi-Tone

The rewarding thing about this record by US guitarist Tony Davis, making his debut, is the amount of harmonic detail that underpins all the pieces, Davis carefully pulling out underlying possibilities and running with them in a retro mainstream way …

Published: 27 Jul 2020. Updated: 7 days.

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The rewarding thing about this record by US guitarist Tony Davis, making his debut, is the amount of harmonic detail that underpins all the pieces, Davis carefully pulling out underlying possibilities and running with them in a retro mainstream way that rather than sound dated comes over as hip. Davis has got plenty of top players with him (Eric McPherson, Dezron Douglas, David Bryant, Steve Wilson, Steve Davis, JK Kim & Alina Engibaryan) but it's his own soloing prowess that wins you over. Definitely worth discovering. Out now.