Erica Seguine / Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra: New York, October 20, 2011
Seguine and Baker approached big band like a live oil painting. Colors were arranged by vibrancy and emotional content, not necessarily by section (high instruments with other high instruments, for example). The co-leaders took a controlled but liberalized approach to big band, where Bach, Dave Holland and the poetry of Rainier Marie Rilke are all fair game. What makes the emergence of big bands like these so crucial is their sense of naturalism. Playing Bach as a tango seems novel until you hear how well it works. Setting Rilke to music, it seems, doesn't even need introduction to achieve its full poignancy. Seguine and Baker were aiming to push the music as far forward as they could, but it appears as though, as tastes change and new truths reveal themselves, the future was already set in motion for them.