249

Hamiet Bluiett: Baritone Nation

By

Sign in to view read count
Hamiet Bluiett: Baritone Nation There's an overwhelming funk groove in this recording from the 1997 Montreal International Jazz Festival. It may be a little bottom heavy, but those baritones can shriek, too, and all the players have chops to burn. With Burrage pounding out the beat, it must have been a spectacular concert. The jazz saxophone quartet, the instrumentation first borrowed from classical music for jazz by Anthony Braxton over two decades ago, is now well established. Bluiett, a founder of the World Saxophone Quartet, which has been pre-eminent since its inception, gets some of the credit for that, but now he's gone a step further. I guess you can't be shy and play an instrument like the baritone. The question is, does it work in the stereo also?

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

Title: Baritone Nation | Year Released: 1998


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "The Dead Man" CD/LP/Track Review The Dead Man
by James Nadal
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Odil - Something" CD/LP/Track Review Odil - Something
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings / Take Me / Rollin' With The Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings /...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 1, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.