Hamiet Bluiett: Baritone Nation
I'd say, yes, it does, on its own terms. These are not polite sounds to accompany a quiet rendezvous over cocktails. This music gets your body moving, with its insistent rhythms. The intervening free passages provide some spice, and give you a chance to rest before those powerful baritones break lose again, lining out the groove in solo statement, or with Burrage backing, or with the other horns forming a dissonant chorus.
Is Bluiet once again out in front of the trends? I doubt it. Innovation, surprise and even novelty are important values in jazz, as sophisticated audiences look for a fresh sound, something that will grab their attention. The Baritone Nation certainly does that: music so strong, so eccentric, so committed that it viscerally communicates the joy of performance you can literally feel it in your bones as the vibrations shake you, not unlike the big dance bands of old. I'd go see them in a minute. This recording is undeniably extraordinary, but I don't think its a trend-setter. One is enough for me.
Track Listing: Libation for the baritone saxophone nation; Discussion among friends; MPR-1; Revival; Settegast Strut; Underwater birth; J. B. groove; KMA/QB
Personnel: Hamiet Bluiett, James Carter, Alex Harding, Patience Higgins, baritone saxophone; Ronnie Burrage, drums