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Jamie Baum: Moving Forward, Standing Still

Dan McClenaghan By

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Moving Forward, Standing Still doesn't sound as though it's led by a flautist, in spite of the fact that flautist Jamie Baum has allowed herself and her instrument their fair share of solo time. She's also given her front line cohorts their share, too, in addition to writing in a good deal of multi-horn harmony and ensemble interplay, on a set that sounds like the work of an artist who has put her main focus in the arranger/composer field, with intriguing results.

Baum's septet features an unusual front line sound—flute/trumpet/alto sax and French horn, with the occasional bass clarinet blowing in. The group paints its sound with an interesting spectrum of hues on a set that owes as much to the influences of modern classical sounds—Stravinsky, Bartok, and Ives—as it does to jazz.

Many of the pieces have a dark tint to them, brooding atmospheres. The opener, "All Roads Lead to You," has the classical tinge—and no wonder: the "You" in the title refers to perhaps Baum's major influence, Igor Stravinsky. And "Bar Talk" references—of course—Bartok.

The mood brightens with the first section of "Medley: From Scratch (Trilok Gurtu)/Primordial Prelude," bringing in a sort of funk groove beneath the two-brass/two-reed harmony, before the tune morphs into a wash of swirling, murky greys.

I've found Moving Forward, Standing Still impossible to listen to casually, in spite of the richness and beauty of the sound; there's too much interesting stuff going on at different levels in the septet arrangements. This is a set that repays you for your full attention.

Visit Jamie Baum at www.jamiebaum.com .

Track Listing: All Roads Lead to You, Spring Rounds, In the Journey, Clarity, Medley: From Scratch/Primoridal Prelude,South Rim, Central Park, Bar Talk, Spring, Rivington Street Blues

Personnel: Jamie Baum--flute and alto flute; Ralph Alessi--trumpet, flugelhorn; Doug Yates--alto saxophone and bass clarinet; Tom Varner--French horn; George Colligan--piano; Drew Gress--bass; Jeff Hirshfield--drums

Title: Moving Forward, Standing Still | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: OmniTone

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