Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Jamie Baum: Sight Unheard.
I don't know much about Jamie Baum. Just knowing that Dave Douglas is in the band is enough reason to check this disc out. And Kenny Werner's piano solo on the title track also catches my ear.
Baum plays flute. And these compositions and arrangements are constructed around showcasing her range and creativity with this instrument. The balance between her and Dave Douglas on trumpet is a surprising blend that reveals a fresh sonic compatibility between instruments normally scored in dynamic opposition.
Given the fluid quality of Baum's melodic lines it's easy to see the appeal of arranging one of the great melodic lines of all time: "Una Muy Bonita" by Ornette Coleman. Baum draws upon Coleman to paint colorful strokes with the piano and flute as the rhythm section provides an understated harmelodic backdrop. Shifting into double-time for Dave Douglas's Don Cherry-esque solo is a nice touch.
The original compositions feature some great writing and smart arrangements. The qualities of these great players are refracted through the timbre and personality of Baum's flute playing and the end result is sonically vivid.