In Former Times
The music played by Matt Bauder, Zach Wallace and Aaron Siegel – the three sides of the group Memorize The Sky – is like a sudden cold dive on the sea in a very hot summer day. You can’t get fresher ideas than these. The instrumentation is the typical one in acoustic improvised music, the reeds-double bass-percussion formula in hard bop, free jazz and free bop, but there’s nothing typical in what this troupe usually does, even because sometimes they sound… electronic. The motive may reside in the personal experiences of the three musicians coming from Michigan, very far from what’s usually done in New York and Chicago, the two most important capitals of the American modern and avant-garde jazz ? they were or are presently involved, at the same time, with non-aligned rock bands and musicians like His Name Is Alive, Neil Michael Hagerty, Tara Jane O’Neil, Saturday Looks Good To Me and Low, and very well known experimentalists active in different fields, Anthony Braxton, Jim O’Rourke, Tony Conrad and Alvin Lucier, among others. They have also collaborated with the likes of Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Scott Rosenberg, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Greg Kelly and Jim Baker to name a few. MTS engages in free music without the turbulent side of it, and usually with a chamber-like or an ambient (yes, with drones) approach, always with surprising developments. It’s Bauder, Wallace and Siegel alone we find in “In Former Times”, and what they do is more than enough to conclude that they’re changing the frontiers of jazz. It happens again, and that signifies just one thing: the future of this music language is under construction. You can say that this fact is natural when we’re dealing with a living art form as this is, but even so it’s always remarkable.