Jazzreview review by Glenn Astarita


 Memorize The Sky – In Former Times (CF 122)
It’s an unusual yet consistently enticing series of pastiches by three crafty players hailing from Michigan, yet active in nearly all walks of jazz and its numerous permutations and regions.  And as the press release asserts, several of these movements sound as though electronics are involved.  Hence, it’s an all-acoustic program where the artists seemingly play riddles with your psyche. 

Multi-reedman Matt Bauder, double-bassist Zach Wallace and percussionist Aaron Siegel impart a Zen-like approach to progressive jazz and improvisation, consisting of drones and trance states amid subliminal variations of a theme and more.  With Siegel’s synchronous tapping of his instruments amid Wallace’s rotating ostinato motifs, the band occasionally generates some rather quiet mayhem. As they abide by a minimalist type approach throughout a good portion of the album. 

On “I Am The Founder Of This Place,” Bauder’s buzzing sax line are countered by Wallace’s staccato phrasings and it’s all subliminally mesmerizing.  Then they perhaps mimic a dysfunctional society during “Treat Me Like A Picture,” although the artists leave inexplicit aspects wide-open.  Moreover, they render garbled voices or so it seems, to depict spirits in a state of unrest or anger, while Bauder’s extended clarinet notes generate an oscillating sequence of events.

Vivid musical imagery is plentiful here.  The trio enacts a series of impressionistic pastiches of sound via subtle diversions that temper the pace of time while rolling matters into a flotation-based musical portraiture.  Akin to an art masterpiece, you’ll notice new elements on each subsequent encounter.  Sure enough, the visual component acts as an equally important framework to the band’s manner of delving into your mind’s eye.

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