In 2014, Taylor Ho Bynum biked his way down the U.S. Pacific coast, a trip that culminated in crossing the border into Mexico.
The final concert of that journey is now available on Bandcamp, as part of Bynum’s “bootleg” series. It’s a duo with bassist Mark Dresser, consisting mostly of compositions, including a spirited Bobby Bradford cover, “Comin’ On.”
The lack of sustain makes the trumpet and bass an interesting pairing. On compositions like “Coyote” and “Comin’ On,” the melody flickers, like the tip of a flame blinking in and out of position.
More pensive moments are found on compositions such as “ZADE” and “To Wait.” The show is bookended by improvisations: one mostly bright, the other more spacious but still squirrely.
It’s all good music, but it’s enjoyable to also think about the context, as this was the final public concert of the bicycle tour (Bynum played once more, solo, near the U.S.-Mexico border). It’s the culmination of an ambitious project that took a lot of hard work.
The official bicycle tour page is here, and it includes this mini-documentary, where he draws a parallel between the bicycle journey, acoustic music, no-destination improvisation: