“…a streamlined trio quickly becoming today’s premiere small jazz group” – Francis Davis, NPR
Currently one of the most exciting and active groups in boundary-pushing jazz, is the collective trio Thumbscrew, who release their sixth album in seven years with Never Is Enough. Constantly taking the simple, ‘guitar trio’ line-up into new territories, their music is a masterclass of musical interplay and focused forward momentum.
Late in the summer of 2019 Thumbscrew hunkered down at City of Asylum, the Pittsburgh arts organization that has served as a creative hotbed for the trio via a series of residencies. The immediate plan was for them to rehearse and record a disparate program of Anthony Braxton compositions they’d gleaned from his Tri-Centric Foundation archives, pieces released last year on The Anthony Braxton Project, an album celebrating his 75th birthday. At the same time, the triumvirate brought in a batch of original compositions that they also spent time refining and recording, resulting in Never Is Enough
While not intentional, The Anthony Braxton Project and Never Is Enough do seem to speak eloquently (if cryptically) to each other. “Braxton’s presence was very strong in this period, spending time with his music, reading some of the composition notes” Formanek says. “I think and hope the influence was there. It was definitely in our minds. I don’t know if there’s a direct influence, but definitely inspiration.”
Tomas Fujiwara – Drums
Mary Halvorson – Guitar
Michael Formanek – Double Bass and Electric Bass
Recorded September 8–11, 2019 by Nate Campisi at Mr. Smalls Studio, Pittsburgh, PA.
Mixed March through June 2020 by Jake K. Leckie, Los Angeles, CA.
Mastered July 2020 by Nick Lloyd at Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT.
Produced by Thumbscrew.
Original artwork by Warren Linn.
Design by Steve Byram.
Tracks 1, 4 & 8 composed by Tomas Fujiwara (BMI)
Tracks 2, 5 & 7 composed by Mary Halvorson (BMI)
Tracks 3, 6 & 9 composed by Michael Formanek (Formtone Music, BMI)