Tomas Fujiwara and Taylor Ho Bynum Stepwise

Tomas Fujiwara and Taylor Ho Bynum Stepwise
Having shared a stage in a variety of configurations since the early '90s, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Tomas Fujiwara are certainly not strangers. Stepwise is a perfect demonstration of the familiarity that these two gentlemen share. Bynum's energetic, yet slightly introverted, melodies are equal in temperament to Fujiwara's sprightly patterns. The two performers sound as if they're deep in conversation, all their mental activities concentrated on listening and responding to each other. The ten relatively short tracks that comprise Stepwise are filled with these dialectical nuggets, which vary stylistically and thematically, but are always brimming with charm and grace. As natural as the music flows from Fujiwara and Bynum, Stepwise doesn't feel at all lackadaisical ― the energy present is controlled, not lacking. Cleverly, they've wrangled themselves, their instruments and each other to craft a stunning collection of songs. (Not Two)