Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Jim Baker / Steve Hunt / Jakob Heinemann: Horizon Scanners

11

Jim Baker / Steve Hunt / Jakob Heinemann: Horizon Scanners

By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Baker / Steve Hunt / Jakob Heinemann: Horizon Scanners
In jazz and improvisational music, the Chicago scene has long been a fertile ground for innovative soundscapes and daring musical ventures. Horizon Scanners, the latest offering from the captivating Chicagoan piano trio of Jim Baker, Steve Hunt and Jakob Heinemann, stands as a testament to this rich musical tradition. It invites listeners on an enthralling journey through sound, emotion and exploration. As the album evolves, it delves into angular, deeply exploratory soundscapes. Thus, Baker's dexterous harmonic variations blend seamlessly with Heinemann's rhythmic guile and Hunt's textural drumming.

The tracks were recorded both live and in the studio. Jim Baker's prowess on the piano serves as the heartbeat, offering expressions ranging from delicate, ethereal melodies to robust, intricate passages that weave a complex narrative. Steve Hunt's percussion work is both grounding and celestial, creating a rhythmic foundation that propels the music forward while offering moments of profound stillness and introspection. Jakob Heinemann's bass lines bind the trio's sound together, providing a harmonic anchor and melodic counterpoint that enriches the session.

The proceedings open with "Mozart," featuring Hunt's drumming intro and Baker's melancholic voicings with Heinemann's poignant lines bridging the trio's sonorous progressions as they intensify towards the closeout. On "Halting No Problem (2)," they meld a horde of mini-motifs into a high-strung free-form affair with various shades and hues, complemented by the bassist's snarling arco-lines, adding a rough-hewn edge. Baker pulls out his secret weapon, the ARP-2600 synthesizer on "Bloom," leading to bizarre encounters with his bandmates. It is a swerving asymmetrical romp, tinted with tiny delicacies and a zinging soundscape, compounded by Hunt's occasional rock beats and Heinemann's curved lines.

The album's production values deserve special mention, capturing the intimacy of the trio's interaction while presenting a spacious soundstage that allows each instrument to breathe and resonate. The recording quality is immaculate, ensuring that the subtle nuances of the performance, from the softest touch on the piano keys to the resonant hum of the bass, are preserved and conveyed with clarity and warmth. In sum, this music demands close attention and invites the listener to close their eyes and become transported by the evocative landscapes it paints.

Track Listing

Mozart; Halting (no) Problem, Pt.1; Halting (no) Problem, Pt.2; Halting (no) Problem, Pt.3; Helv; Bloom; The Ships.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Steve Hunt: drums and percussion; Jim Baker; ARP-2600

Album information

Title: Horizon Scanners | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Heaven On My Mind
Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet
Beatin' the Odds
Leigh Pilzer
Nimble Digits
Geoff Stradling

Popular

The Seagull's Serenade
Dominik Schürmann
Heartland Radio
Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows
Slow Water
Stephan Crump

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.