Tag Archives: Tomas Fujiwara

Chicago Reader Best of 2014 list by Peter Margasak

My favorite jazz albums of 2014
Today NPR Music posted the results of the annual jazz critics poll organized by Francis Davis. In years past the poll ran in the Village Voice and the online music service Rhapsody. Steve Lehman’s impressive Mise En Abîme (Pi) landed in the top spot this year. You can check out the full results, including categories for best reissue, Latin jazz recording, debut, and vocal album here. I’ve included the ballot I submitted for this year’s poll below.

Top 10 Albums:
1. David Virelles, Mbokó (ECM)
2. Ambrose Akinmusire, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint (Blue Note)
3. Wadada Leo Smith, The Great Lakes Suites (TUM)
4. Jason Roebke Octet, High/Red/Center (Delmark)
5. Hush Point, Blues and Reds (Sunnyside)
6. Tyshawn Sorey, Alloy (Pi)
7. Tom Rainey, Obbligato (Intakt)
CF 2898. Matt Bauder & Day in Pictures, Nightshades (Clean Feed)
9. Michael Blake, Tiddy Boom (Sunnyside)
10. Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms, From the Region (Delmark)

http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2014/12/19/my-favorite-jazz-albums-of-2014

Magnet’s Best of 2014 list by Bill Meyers

Magnet’s Bill Meyer picks the best jazz/improv releases of the year

1 Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack …Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire (Singlespeed)
2 Brötzmann Adasiewicz Edwards Noble Mental Shake (Otoroku)
3 AMM Place Sub. V. (Matchless)
CF 2894 Matt Bauder And Day In Pictures Nightshades (Clean Feed)
5 Rob Mazurek Mother Ode (Corbett Vs. Dempsey)
6 Russ Johnson Meeting Point (Relay)
7 Cymerman Wooley Parker World Of Objects (5049)
8 Steve Lehman Octet Mise En Abîme (Pi)
9 Keir Neuringer Ceremonies Of The Air (New Atlantis)
10 Travis Laplante’s Battle Trance Palace Of Wind (New Amsterdam)

http://www.magnetmagazine.com/2014/12/04/best-of-2014-jazzimprov/

Le Son du Grisli review by Guillaume Belhomme

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Picture – Nightshades (CF 289)
En ces temps de Blue Note Revival, écouter Matt Bauder creuser en profondeur les vieilles symétries n’est pas pour me déplaire. Et ne pas voir en lui l’un des musiciens les plus investis du moment en dit assez long quant à l’imbécilité de la jazzopshère.

C’est que Matt Bauder possède plus d’une corde à son arc. Ici, dans ce territoire vaguement sixtie-Blue Note, il conteste le copier-coller et fonde ses interventions sur des tumultes que n’atteindront jamais les (très) surévalués petits princes des revues en papier glacé. Car Bauder sait comment ériger un chorus et comment troubler les cadres. Et c’est aussi ce que sait faire un Nate Wooley, trompettiste aux courbes ruades. Et tandis que Kris Davis (remplaçant ici Angelica Sanchez) impulse quelque harmonie mensongère, Jason Ajemian et Tomas Fujiwara érigent quelques imposantes cathédrales. Viennent alors à nos oreilles cette science des temps mêlés. Temps mêlés et jamais scellés.

http://grisli.canalblog.com/archives/2014/12/01/31051331.html

Time Out review by José Carlos Fernandes

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Picture – Nightshades (CF 289)
****
O segundo disco do quinteto Day In Pictures do saxofonista Matt Bauder prossegue a rota da estreia: revisitação criativa do hard bop do início dos anos 60. A formação (de luxo) mantém Nate Wooley, Jason Ajemian e Tomas Fujiwara, mas Kris Davis toma o lugar de Angelica Sanchez – o que significa um piano mais seco e percussivo.

A maior surpresa está logo na abertura, pois o encantatório “Octavia Minor” desvia-se dos ambientes hard bop e remete para o Ethio-jazz de inflexões latinas de Mulatu Astatke, ainda que o desconcertante solo de Davis (não contem com ele para fazer o que é previsível) deixe o aviso: os Day in Pictures não estão aqui para fazer pastiches. “Weekly resolution” regressa ao terreno usual do quinteto e retoma, em variante moderna, a faceta mais escaldante dos Jazz Messengers – mas o adstringente e cásutico solo de trompete (as intervenções de Nate Wooley são consistentemente inspiradas, tomem elas um registo mais “clássico” ou mais heterodoxo) e o denso solo de bateria sustentado por um piano minimal-obsessivo lembram que os tempos são outros. “Starr Wykoff” é uma balada “à maneira antiga”, tocada com aprumo e sinceridade e que serve para calar os sectores conservadores que crêem que a nova geração pratica um jazz “esdrúxulo” porque são incompetentes para tocar “como deve ser”. O CD encerra com “Nightshades”, uma marcha jovial, luminosa e bluesy, com Wooley e Bauder em diálogo cúmplice – alguma afinidade com a música de Harris Eisenstadt não será mera coincidência, já que Wooley e Bauder são parceiros recorrentes de Eisentsadt.

Quem seja dado a catalogações que se entretenha a escolher se isto é jazz “modernista” ou “tradicionalista”.

Point of Departure review by Troy Collins

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Pictures – Nightshades (CF 289)
Nightshades is the most accessible offering to date in Brooklyn-based tenor saxophonist Matt Bauder’s burgeoning discography. Brimming with nostalgic melodies, rich harmonies and elastic rhythms, the highly appealing session shares more than a passing resemblance to classic records issued by Blue Note in the 1960s, recalling a time when jazz still reigned as the popular music of the day.

Following in the footsteps of the group’s 2010 self-titled Clean Feed debut, Bauder’s Day in Pictures continues to explore intricate structural nuances of the post-bop continuum, hemming ever closer to conventional forms. Enjoying the support of a fairly stable lineup, Bauder is once again joined by trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, while pianist Kris Davis takes the place of Angelica Sanchez. Davis’ appearance is noteworthy; where Sanchez brought a penchant for expansive contrapuntal harmony to the group, Davis takes a more focused, linear approach, offering a profusion of melodic invention in her brisk, chromatic delivery.

Davis’ quicksilver pianism meshes well with Ajemian’s supple bass lines and Fujiwara’s spirited kit-work; their skillful interplay yields a modulating undercurrent of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic activity that inspires daring excursions from the versatile frontline. As one of the key young masters of new trumpet technique, Wooley makes a fitting foil for the leader, underscoring Bauder’s sinuous refrains with coruscating asides tempered by an increasingly sophisticated lyricism. Bauder reveals a diverse array of expressionism, whether waxing romantic on the lush ballad “Starr Wykoff,” swinging with full-throated verve through the second line-infused title track, or plying nervy multiphonics on more assertive fare like “Rule of Thirds.”

Although the material on Nightshades is stylistically similar to the quintet’s previous effort, each tune investigates slightly different territory, ranging from the slinky deconstructed bossa nova groove of “Octavia Minor” to the collective New Thing-inspired rapture of “August and Counting.” The duration of each piece hovers around the ten minute mark, allowing individual members time to extrapolate on Bauder’s melody-rich themes.

In direct contrast to some of his more experimental projects, like Memorize The Sky, the material performed by Day in Pictures highlights Bauder’s most conventionally jazz-oriented writing. The end result is a historically aware exploration of the tenuous divide between freedom and form – a bold, but beautiful album.
http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD47/PoD47MoreMoments2.html

Point of Departure review by Troy Collins

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Pictures – Nightshades (CF 289)
Nightshades is the most accessible offering to date in Brooklyn-based tenor saxophonist Matt Bauder’s burgeoning discography. Brimming with nostalgic melodies, rich harmonies and elastic rhythms, the highly appealing session shares more than a passing resemblance to classic records issued by Blue Note in the 1960s, recalling a time when jazz still reigned as the popular music of the day.

Following in the footsteps of the group’s 2010 self-titled Clean Feed debut, Bauder’s Day in Pictures continues to explore intricate structural nuances of the post-bop continuum, hemming ever closer to conventional forms. Enjoying the support of a fairly stable lineup, Bauder is once again joined by trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, while pianist Kris Davis takes the place of Angelica Sanchez. Davis’ appearance is noteworthy; where Sanchez brought a penchant for expansive contrapuntal harmony to the group, Davis takes a more focused, linear approach, offering a profusion of melodic invention in her brisk, chromatic delivery.

Davis’ quicksilver pianism meshes well with Ajemian’s supple bass lines and Fujiwara’s spirited kit-work; their skillful interplay yields a modulating undercurrent of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic activity that inspires daring excursions from the versatile frontline. As one of the key young masters of new trumpet technique, Wooley makes a fitting foil for the leader, underscoring Bauder’s sinuous refrains with coruscating asides tempered by an increasingly sophisticated lyricism. Bauder reveals a diverse array of expressionism, whether waxing romantic on the lush ballad “Starr Wykoff,” swinging with full-throated verve through the second line-infused title track, or plying nervy multiphonics on more assertive fare like “Rule of Thirds.”

Although the material on Nightshades is stylistically similar to the quintet’s previous effort, each tune investigates slightly different territory, ranging from the slinky deconstructed bossa nova groove of “Octavia Minor” to the collective New Thing-inspired rapture of “August and Counting.” The duration of each piece hovers around the ten minute mark, allowing individual members time to extrapolate on Bauder’s melody-rich themes.

In direct contrast to some of his more experimental projects, like Memorize The Sky, the material performed by Day in Pictures highlights Bauder’s most conventionally jazz-oriented writing. The end result is a historically aware exploration of the tenuous divide between freedom and form – a bold, but beautiful album.
http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD47/PoD47MoreMoments2.html

Expresso review by João Santos

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Pictures – Nightshades (CF 289)
****
Há teorias que pegam por contágio. No caso, desde “Day in Pictures” (2010) que, no domínio da crítica, e a propósito do quinteto de Matt Mauder, se fala de uma proveitosa estilização de figuras com pelo menos 50 anos como se nada de estranho houvesse na redução a aspetos decorativos da parte mais equilibrada do modernismo jazzístico da década de 60 ou como se não estivesse a própria música de Bauder, Nate Wooley, Jason Ajemian, Tomas Fujiwara e Angelica Sanchez (entretanto substituída por Kris Davis) repleta de aforismos da estirpe ‘Nova Iorque é Agora’. Nessa perspetiva, recordando-se um punhado de álbuns de uma só editora, “Nightshades” decalcaria algo do que, em 1964, a Blue Note postulou através de “Point of Departure” (Hill), “The Sidewinder” (Morgan), “JuJu” (Shorter), “Destination… Out!” (McLean) ou, já que, com este título, aludiu Bauder à família botânica da batata, “Out to Lunch!” (Dolphy). A ilação, que ninguém parece tirar, é que tal empreitada – como no “Vou-me Embora para Pasárgada”, de Manuel Bandeira, com o verso “[Lá] Tem alcaloide à vontade” inspirado na mesma ordem de plantas – situaria Bauder nas redondezas da alienação, premissa incompatível com o que se qualifica como a ação de um baluarte da vanguarda. Talvez por isso se transforme aqui o popular em esotérico – conferir o contorno etíope de ‘Octavia Minor’ –, revelando-se restritivo o que já foi ilimitável. De facto, é difícil aceitar que tem cada período da história do jazz de lidar com um conjunto de estéreis convenções. E, no entanto, por nenhum outro motivo tanto estimula a imaginação este “Nightshades”.

 

Dusted Magazine review by Bill Meyer

CF 289Matt Bauder And Day In Pictures—Nightshades (CF 289)
Matt Bauder is a man of diverse interests. A former student of Anthony Braxton’s, the reed player has reinterpreted doo–wop, explored the intersection of minimalist process music and improvisation and occupied the horn chair in Arcade Fire. If one thing ties together these endeavors, it’s his determination to respect what he is playing but not simply take it at face value. Bauder finds a way to put a very personal spin on whatever he plays, and that is just as true with jazz combo Day In Pictures. The quintet, which includes trumpeter Nate Wooley, pianist Kris Davis (replacing Angelica Sanchez), bassist Jason Ajemian, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, takes the sounds and conventions of what was called modern jazz half a century ago and reconciles it with more contemporary elements.

Neither side subverts the other, and both get their due.
“Octavia Minor” kicks things off with a hell of a scenario. What if Ethio-jazz originator Mulatu Astatke had arranged and composed for Horace Silver in the mid-’60s? The rhythm section finds common ground between them right away, with Davis’s insistent left hand and short ascending figures introducing a sinuous twist to Ajermian and Fujiwara’s Latin-tinged swing. Bauder’s tenor comes in with a bent note so alluring you want to give it your wallet, then plays out a series of questing variations on the tune that seem to dance close to Davis’s accompaniment without ever quite touching. Further on, he restates the theme with a rough flutter that Wooley picks up and elaborates; the horn language says improv, now as forcefully as the harmonies and rhythms say Addis and NYC, then. The boundaries between decades dissolve.

One could count down the ways that post-micro-sound gets in bed with Blue note-vintage Wayne Shorter, and contemporary noise hooks elbows with funny hat-era Pharoah Sanders, but it would probably be more fun for you to play through the record and marvel at these resolutions of difference for yourself.

Or one could simply step back and admire the way rigorous execution and pleasurable expression become one throughout this marvelous album. No one is doing more these days to make accessible sense of jazz’s advances since the Eisenhower administration than this ensemble and Wooley’s similarly focused Sextet, which also records for Clean Feed. Next time someone questions jazz’s viability, play ‘em this.
http://dustedmagazine.tumblr.com/post/84138202270/matt-bauder-and-day-in-pictures-nightshades-clean

 

Chicago Reader review by Peter Margasak

Matt Bauder’s ever-evolving sound

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Pictures – Nighshades (CF 289)
Reedist Matt Bauder spent just a few years in Chicago, between 1999 and 2001, but he made a strong mark—and the city’s improvised music scene left its imprint on him in return. He’s a no-nonsense musician with an abiding curiosity. He has forged a deliberately mercurial musical personality over the years. There’s nothing mysterious about his ideas or interests, but their nonchalant diversity and range have made it hard to pin him down as this or that. Of course, that’s one of the things that make the reedist, composer, and bandleader so special; not only is he good at many things, but working in disparate contexts is necessary for him. He recently joined the touring lineup of Arcade Fire following a long stint on the road with Iron & Wine; he regularly subbed in the Broadway production of Fela!; he’s worked in bands led by Taylor Ho Bynum, Anthony Braxton, Rob Mazurek, and Harris Eisenstadt; he’s explored abstract electronic music, engaged in long-from improvisation with the trio Memorize the Sky, and even played modern takes on classic doo-wop with his project White Blue Yellow and Clouds. In 2010 I wrote a profile of Bauder for DownBeat magazine, and he told me, “I want a balance, and I wouldn’t be doing all of these different things for this long if I wanted one of them to take over. I feel like I can’t take a narrow path like that. I see other people do it and get a lot of success from it, but it’s not possible for me.”

Still, Bauder retains his roots in jazz, and that sensibility colors everything he does. He recently released Nightshades (Clean Feed), the second album by his excellent quintet Day in Pictures—a jazz quintet through and through featuring trumpeter Nate Wooley, pianist Kris Davis (who replaces Angelica Sanchez, from the group’s debut), bassist Jason Ajemian, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara—and it arrives as one of his most accomplished efforts yet, a superb, elegantly swinging session built upon six sturdy, well-crafted original compositions. The record is dominated by the sort of classic, soulful hard-bop sound forged in the 50s, but within that durable model the individualism of each player comes through. Bauder introduces the handsome ballad “Starr Wykoff” with a lengthy tenor sax solo marked by harmonic ambiguity, dazzling rhythmic variation, breathily sensual tonality, and rich melodic generosity, leading into a tune that would’ve sounded at home in the repertoire of Coleman Hawkins. Both Bauder and Wooley expertly pour modern techniques and ideas into a classic model with astonishingly good, deeply satisfying results.

On the surface the opening piece called “Octavia Minor” flips the script a bit, summoning the spirit of vintage Ethiopian music, but once you get beyond the pentatonic harmonies and patient melody, the internal motion and improvisations are of a piece with the performances that follow. Below you can check out the wonderfully churning piece “August and Counting,” which opens with a thrumming groove and tart contrapuntal blowing from Bauder and Wooley. As the piece unfolds, the hornmen never really drop out, trading phrases, dropping accents on one another’s lines, and improvising in thrilling tandem, with Davis unspooling mahogany blankets of shimmering sound. I feel confident that Nightshades will end up as one of my favorite albums of 2014. That kind of quality and resonance is something that you can rely on Bauder to deliver.
http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2014/03/21/matt-bauders-ever-evolving-sound

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

CF 289Matt Bauder And Day In Pictures – Nightshades (CF 289)
Matt Bauder And Day In Pictures: Nightshades Saxophonist Matt Bauder was mentored by celebrated avant-garde jazz saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton and has been a busy and quite productive artist on numerous jazz fronts. As a topnotch session man and leader, Bauder’s resume intimates fruitful affiliations with musicians who are at the forefront of the progressive jazz and avant-garde sectors. Fueled by an all-star lineup, Nightshades is the saxophonist’s second solo effort for Portugal-based Clean Feed Records, and is a program that shifts between mainstream jazz and ultramodern propositions.

Bauder kicks off the agenda with a Horace Silver style bump and grind oeuvre “Octavia Minor,” where pianist Kris Davis complements the leader’s gritty sax lines with cool accents and swirling chord clusters. However, compositional contrasts abound on other works as the band creates more than a few highly expressionistic firestorms, but alternates the avant-garde forays with pieces such as the old school conventional jazz type ballad, “Starr Wykoff.” Here, warm, late-night soloing activities are integrated into a curvy song-form, featuring Bauder’s contemplative lines and drummer Tomas Fujiwara’s delicate brushes.

“Rule of Thumbs” is a topsy-turvy excursion, marked by free-flowing dialogues as the soloists embark on a search and conquer mission while piloting through a surfeit of nooks and crannies as Davis equalizes the pace via linear runs and off-kilter phrasings. Moreover, the band alternates the current with succinct choruses, but venture into a heightened red-zone attack amid trumpeter Nate Wooley’s breathy intonation, scratchy notes and microtonal articulations. Otherwise “August and Counting,” begins with a knock- down, drag-out groove, tempered by Bauder’s tender interludes. And “Nightshades” closes out the album with a genial, New Orleans second- line boogaloo vamp.

Bauder’s strategic output combines ferocious improvisational activities that rattle the senses with other compositions and movements that could soothe the savage beast. It’s a hybrid gameplan that yields gratifying results.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=46779#.UzFPjqh_suc