MATT BAUDER – Day In Pictures

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Angelica Sanchez: piano; Jason Ajemian: bass; Matt Bauder: tenor sax; Nate Wooley: trumpet; Tomas Fujiwara: drums

The generally stormless climate – tinted with past remembrances – typifying Day In Pictures contrasts quite a bit with the remarkable bundle of influences credited to Matt Bauder, whose musicianship is apparently rooted in his love for punk and soul yet was refined by studies with the likes of Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier and Ron Kuivila. But as soon as the tranquilizing themes of pieces such as the inaugural “Cleopatra’s Mood” – or the alluring “Bill And Maza”, scented by the essence of countless jazz classics of the 60s – take possession of your afternoon, one is promptly transported back to eras where the mere act of listening to a long playing while sitting on the couch was considered the purest form of delight. Tunes whose lyrical constitution can be even retained by the memory, to a degree: this is valid, for example, in “Parks After Dark”. But wait until the matter gets transformed, as the quintet starts bruising the noblesse via a broad-minded decomposition of the counterpoint, five autonomous voices heard in semi-fighting stance with the same clearness that was defining the collective texture to that moment, masterfully restored at the end. The proportion between logical order and investigation of self-direction is the record’s most convincing feature; within these spheres, Angelica Sanchez’s riveting chordal choices underscore the compelling interconnections of the leader’s tenor with Wooley’s now brooding, now impertinent trumpet, whereas Ajemian and Fujiwara never look set to incarcerate the pulse into mathematical exactitude in spite of the intelligible symmetry of the rhythmic bulk. Class being class, extreme recklessness is not indispensable to enjoy this ever-polite outing: you just need a full hour to be spent alone, minus extraneous disturbances.

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