Record release show for Convallaria, Thumbscrew’s highly anticipated follow up to their critically acclaimed 2014 eponymous debut for Cuneiform Records. Convallaria presents 11 new original compositions, recorded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the BNY Jazz Residency at City of Asylum. Building on the momentum of their debut, through a busy touring schedule, a near telepathic rapport, and inspired by the artistic community of City of Asylum and the Pittsburgh creative arts scene, Convallaria is a unique and bold statement by this “supertrio… of three highly distinctive voices in the world of jazz and avant-garde music.” (S. Victor Aaron, Something Else)
Thumbscrew is a cooperative trio consisting of Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (double bass), and Tomas Fujiwara (drums). The band’s name might conjure a fearsome image, but Thumbscrew makes inviting music full of wonder and discovery from creative catalysts on jazz’s adventurous frontiers. “It is neither hierarchical, the way a soloist with accompaniment is, nor anti-hierarchical, the was free improv can be. The balance of governance and acquiescence is in constant flux, governed by a jointly shared sense of responsibility engendered by trust.” (Bill Meyer, The Wire) It’s a collaboration that works beautifully, producing music greater than the sum of its parts.
Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has been called “NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “the most forward-thinking guitarist working right now” (Lars Gotrich, NPR.org) and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). Ms. Halvorson is best known for her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, and more recently for her solo guitar project, Meltframe. She has several other projects as a bandleader including a quintet, septet and octet. Collaborative projects include a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew (with Michael Formanek and Tomas Fujiwara) and Secret Keeper (with Stephan Crump). Ms. Halvorson is also an active member of bands led by Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Trevor Dunn, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Mike Reed and Marc Ribot, among others.
[RESIDENCY] Thumbscrew Record Release Concert is made possible, in part, by the Jerome Foundation.
The Jerome Foundation, a long-time supporter of young composers, was a mainstay in Roulette’s early development and continues to help us fulfill our mission by presenting ambitious work by promising artists. Each year, the Jerome Foundation supports five artist residencies and four commissions at Roulette.