Matt Bauder Fields Excellent Quintet for "Day in Pictures"
Reed-tenor jazzologist Matt Bauder has integrity. He writes well. He plays with the assurance of someone who has internalized the music, grasped its essentials and communed with his instruments to emerge with a kind of brilliance and right-sounding quality. And as a bandleader he can pick the right people too.
A Day In Pictures (Clean Feed 210) gives you plenty of evidence to consider, and plenty of inspired moments to appreciate. He's gathered together a quintet that gells nicely. Matt's tenor sets the in-and-out clock to midnight, and the time flies by. He's lucid, he's given it all some thought and brims with good ideas, well executed. He does not ape somebody else. He apes himself. His clarinet playing goes someplace too.
Nate Wooley brings the seasoned polish and flexibly masterful playing style that gets him more and more attention on the scene in recent years. He forms a perfect foil in the front line. Bauder and Wooley meld as one in their approach, but remain themselves in the process.
The new voice of Angelica Sanchez on piano gets good exposure on Pictures. She, the complete pianist: beautifully concise in her phrasing on the inside moments; logically lucid in the free-er spots. She has real talent and does much to make this session hum.
The rhythm team of Jason Ajemian on bass and Tomas Fujiwara at the drums brings the ideal balance of swinging drive and daring looseness that beautifully suits them for Bauder's in-and- out.
Finally, the pieces. They are brilliant as well. There's a nod to the history of the music, some classic Blue-Note-like referencing that shimmers when placed in a more modern context. And there's much else about these pieces. They show the hand of a talented jazz composer.
So there you have it. Five excellent players playing first-rate modern jazz. One excellent jazz scrivener showing seven of his best numbers. The combination has real heft, power, excitement.
Very much recommended.