Cornetist/composer/bandleader Taylor Ho Bynum has been closely associated with the composer and longtime Wesleyan University music professor Anthony Braxton. Ho Bynum has been performing Braxton’s work for over 20 years, and his involvement, both as a performer and as the executive director of the nonprofit that promotes and preserves Braxton’s legacy as an educator and composer. That interaction has shaped Ho Bynum’s material as well.
Ho Bynum’s work can be roiling and abrupt, and, like Braxton, he’s devised systems to navigate a large number of improvisers through dramatic group swells and slides, gnarly clusters, eruptions of rusty-hinge-and-barnyard-animal sounds, brassy smears, growls, expressive lyrical patches, anthemic moments and percolating peculiarities. On his most recent recordings, there are passages that might even bring Ellington or Mancini to mind. This music is dense with excitement and possibility.
Ho Bynum’s nonet features a number of other Braxton collaborators, and highly regarded improvisers and composers, like the wide-ranging guitarist Mary Halvorson and tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock. Ho Bynum and crew will be performing new music from his “Ambiguity Manifesto” project.
Taylor Ho Bynum’s group of nine performs at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St., Hartford, on Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. realartways.org