Taylor Haskins: Fuzzy Logic Jun20

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Album at a Glance

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Sunnyside Records Record Label - Sunnyside Records: "With no binding contracts, no specific mission, and an acceptance of any jazz style, Sunnyside is a relaxed independent label. We simply release music that we like."
Release date: 2014-02-18


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Taylor Haskins: Fuzzy Logic


Dreamy, evocative, exploratory, filmic, melodious, intermittently raucous, self-assured – just some of the descriptions one can use when describing Fuzzy Logic, the New Hampshire-born, Champlain Valley, NY denizen trumpeter and composer Taylor Haskins’ fifth and newest solo project, and second for Sunnyside. The septet, a well-integrated jazz quartet plus string trio – Taylor Haskins (tpt, Native American drone flute, melodica), Ben Monder (g), Kermit Driscoll (b), Jeff Hirschfield (d); Joyce Hammann (vln), Lois Martin (vla) and Jody Redhage (vlc) – meld and blend into a satisfying whole but never at the expense of the quartet member’s individuality.

Compositions and arrangements of all but two of the ten album tracks are by Mr. Haskins, the exceptions being Airwaves, by Thomas Dolby, and Take It With Me, by Tom Waits. The first five tracks (‘Side A’) –Somewhere I’ve Never Traveled-Four Moons-Fuzzy Logic-Comfortable Disease-Airwaves, though separate and distinct, build in suite-like form, with increasing energy, intensity, direction and song-length from an incantatory dream state or rumination on a destination – real, imagined or both – to an eventual, ecstatic and celebratory arrival. One should take note of Mr. Taylor’s use of the drone flute on the opener, hefty, woody and sturdy bass from Mr. Driscoll, supple and imaginative kit and stick work from Mr. Hirschfield, the string trio’s driving and supportive role and Ben Monder’s outburst of a solo during Airwaves, which seemingly fades with the echo of the flute note heard at the start.

The final five tracks (‘Side B’), more independent and discreet from one another, announce a plateau, energy expended but not dissipated in making the journey. These contemplative and thoughtful tunes showcase a cohesive and in-sync unit playing with a more subdued style and less overt soloistic display. Throughout the album, Mr. Haskin’s trumpet voice, like his arrangements and compositions, is measured, confident and even-keeled, leaving the more dramatic statements for his band mates. The album ends as it began, with a bit of instrumental exotica in the form of the Mr. Haskin’s melodica on ‘Take It With Me’. At just under 45 min., this LP-length musical statement will leave you sated, not stuffed.

From Taylor Haskins' critically acclaimed album Recombination, the tune 'Alberto Balsam'