All About Jazz-New York review by Stuart Broomer

Matt Bauder – Day in Pictures (CF 210)
Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Matt Bauder cuts a fairly broad swath through the more advanced improvisatory forms, from the orchestral free jazz of Exploding Star Orchestra to the meditative minimalism of the trio Memorize the Sky. His quintet Day in Pictures seems to circle some of the conventions of mid ‘60s postbop, his compositions suggesting such period explorers as Andrew Hill and Grachan Moncur III, with many touches that reach further afield, from Duke Ellington to Sun Ra to Pharoah Sanders and Klezmer. Those allegiances are immediately apparent in the makeup of the band, a quintet that matches Bauder’s reeds with trumpeter Nate Wooley (the two also the frontline of Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day), pianist Angelica Sanchez, bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Bauder’s themes are both strongly melodic and (as the name would suggest) highly evocative, most notably the opening “Cleopatra’s Mood”, which moves to a middle-Eastern rhythm that’s both sinuous and forceful and which has its expressive edge consistently pressed by Bauder and Wooley’s multiphonics. That connection with tradition is at itsmost playful on “Reborn Not Gone” and “Two Lucks”, hard-swinging themes that suggest late bop and inspire Bauder to leap from register to register, from plosive to squeak. There’s a somber grace to “January Melody”, with Bauder’s woody clarinet in the foreground, while the extended “Bill and Maza” achieves an almost orchestral depth and density with contrasting thematic materials distributed among the group. There’s a sense here that every player in the quintet is knitting Bauder’s materials into a strong group identity, consistently enhancing his compositions as they achieve a genuinely collective language.

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