206

Mike Baggetta: Small Spaces

Clifford Allen By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Baggetta: Small Spaces Guitarist Mike Baggetta might not be a familiar name to those outside the coasts, though he's recorded and worked on both. He received his formal education in music from Rutgers and name checks players like Ted Dunbar and Jim Hall, yet his first release was decidedly un-bebop—a half-hour solo recording of prepared and abused acoustic guitar entitled Canto. Bows, rattles and knocks then traversed their way through the long-running (if sporadic) duo Tin/Bag with California-based trumpeter Kris Tiner (of the Empty Cage Quartet). Now, on Small Spaces, Baggetta has applied these experiences to an expanded and thorny post-bop quartet. He's joined by Fresh Sound regulars, bassist Eivind Opsvik, tenor man Jason Rigby and drummer RJ Miller (since replaced by George Schuller) on seven originals and an arrangement of the Taiwanese folksong "Olive Tree".

Opener "The Heights" is a subtle manifesto for the leader's approach to group music. After an eddying free duet between Opsvik and Miller, with the bassist pushing the tempo slightly, tenor and guitar enter in a series of phrases that float around, ahead of and behind the beat, in a jumpy unison that recalls Warne Marsh and Billy Bauer on a wobbly deck. The Dunbar training seems readily apparent; Baggetta comps with dissonant chordal accents, placed at odd intervals and spiking the quartet's punch. Yet he expands on that as a "pure-sound player," his holdover from preparations and detuning a tendency to sit and chew a tart chord, isolating and letting it hang in the air. Even on a taut groover like "No Gravity," cutting edges poke through the theme's fabric, piercing highs that tug at comfort zones. Baggetta's single-note lines are evenly paced, but the ear recalls the head's lemony flavor and his solo retains a strong, wiry nature. By comparison, Rigby's hard edge is positively rounded and the two make an excellent frontline. Indeed, Baggetta's work with hornmen plays out in an affinity for breath if only to coil around it over supple rhythmic support. Rare is the young musician who fuses avant-garde and post-bop mettles so effortlessly—Small Spaces is a refreshingly unsafe approach to modern jazz.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

  • Momentum
    Momentum
    Mike Baggetta Quartet
    Source Material
  • Bridges
    Bridges
    Mike Baggetta & Kris Tiner
    Bridges
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Live In Greenwich Village" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Greenwich Village
by John Sharpe
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "That Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review That Feelin'
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Avant Funk" CD/LP/Track Review Avant Funk
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Refuge In Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Refuge In Sound
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Araminta" CD/LP/Track Review Araminta
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!