MATT BAUDER & A DAY IN PICTURES - NIGHTSHADES
Maybe the best work we've ever heard from tenorist Matt Bauder – a tremendously well-conceived set, and one that's got the solid punch of some of the real giants on his instrument! The group is all young and open-minded, but they work together here with a soulful swing that's really unexpected – a wonderful sense of energy that really grabs us right away, but also lets all the individual members find plenty of space for their own voices too! Things are never too mainstream, but have a groove at surprising spots – and in addition to Bauder on tenor, the record also features Nate Wooley on trumpet, Kris Davis on piano, Jason Ajemian on bass, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Titles include "Octavia Minor", "Weekly Resolution", "Nightshades", "August & Counting", and "Rule Of Thirds". ~ Dusty Groove.
Mats Gustafsson tortures the saxophone – but tortures it beautifully, too – in this wonderful set of solo tracks that mix tenor and live electronics, baritone and music box, and some solo baritone moments too! The title's a reference to a hilarious letter sent to Mats by Robert Crumb – who also did the lettering on the front – reproduced inside, in which Crumb says that he just really doesn't get this kind of music, or understand why anyone would want to listen to it too! Yet there's a beauty and fragility to the record that honestly make it one of Gustafsson's most compelling albums ever – especially the leadoff mix of tenor and electronics, laid out over five famous Duke Ellington numbers – all completely transformed by the process. Ellington titles include "Come Sunday", "In A Sentimental Mood", "I Never Felt This Way Before", and "Blue Goose" – and the set also features versions of the Ayler classics "Angels/Spirits" and "Ghosts" – and a 22 minute take on Lars Gullin's "Danny's Dream". ~ Dusty Groove
ROB MAZUREK - MOTHER ODE
Rob Mazurek has always been more of a multi-instrumentalist instead of just a cornet player – but on this amazing solo set, he really pushes the boundaries even further – by taking up a huge host of different elements and different sounds! That soaring, spacious horn is still in the lead – a legacy that Rob seems to have inherited from 70s Miles Davis, but taken to even trippier territory – but the record also features flute, electronics, maracas, and bells – as well as weird objects like books, boxes, and apples! Mazurek uses a bit of distortion at times, which really helps unlike things resonate together – and the set's easily some of his most personal, evocative music to date. Titles include "Toward New Light", "Quiet The Thunder Bells", "The Breath Of Life You Gave To Me", "You Were Born With Sun In Your Eyes", and "Toward Enlightenment". ~ Dusty Groove