Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels


Several years ago, I was struck by the innovative beauty of “Memorize The Sky”, a trio album with Matt Bauder on sax, and he has figured on some of the best albums of the last years, by Harris Eisenstadt, The Exploding Star Orchestra, Taylor Ho Bynum, Adam Lane. This year, he released two albums as a leader, and I must say, both albums bring us into yet again totally different musical univserses.

Matt Bauder – Days In Pictures (CF 210)
***½
On “Day In Pictures”, Bauder brings his own music, one that sounds at first hearing like mainstream jazz of the fifties, both in terms of the themes, the sounds of the instruments, the harmonics, the rhythms.

So, quite accessible music, pleasant to the ear, with excellent playing by musicians Bauder’s been playing with over the years : Angelica Sanchez on piano, Jason Ajemian on bass, Nate Wooley on trumpet, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. The fun thing is that these guys play this music, with a kind of reverence of their masters, the giants on whose shoulders they stand, but it would be boring if it stayed like that. As easily, they deconstruct the music, let go of explicit structures, by adding complexities or even by totally abandoning the foundations they’re standing on, taking the music out into more stratospheric regions, or using sounds that would have been unthinkable some decades ago.

The end result is not boundary-shifting, but the playing is so good and full of joy that it is really easy to recommend. Highly enjoyable.
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