AYCH is a formidable free trio lineup of Jim Hobbs on alto sax, Mary Halvorson, electric guitar, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet. As the Crow Flies (Relative Pitch 1004) brings the three together in a program of free-wheeling improvisations and compositional frameworks, the latter of which include many by Hobbs and are well worth a careful listen.
Mary's guitar gives the unit the possibility of 3rd front liner or harmonic backdrop, single-note improviser, sound artist or free chordal comp-er. She is admirably versatile and original and the trio puts her often in a fulcrum position.
Jim Hobbs plays a very expressive sax, and can emote in post-Ayler ballad context, get the juices flowing or hang back a bit and play sensitively in a three-way ensemble situation.
Taylor Ho is the multifaceted stylist that brings much to this group, a singular voice that can do most anything that's needed.
A totality of concept and interesting trio blend is what goes down here, with a great deal of stylistic variety and plenty of co-listening and preparation.
Great band. Nice music!