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Moving Forward, Standing Still by Jamie Baum Septet

Moving Forward, Standing Still is an interesting and diverse outing from flutist and composer Jamie Baum. Her writing claims inspiration from the giants of early twentieth century modernism: Bartok, Ives, Stravinsky. Also evident are jazz influences from the second half of that century: John Coltrane, the classic Ornette Coleman Quartet, Mwandishi-era Herbie Hancock and/or early Chick Corea. The resulting blend is at times quite similar to some of Frank Zappa's more jazz-oriented dates from the late sixties and early seventies, only without the rock and roll.

"All Roads Lead to You" admittedly quotes The Rite of Spring on a conscious level; that Baum's own line is very similar to "Naima" is claimed as a happy accident in the notes. Not acknowledged--perhaps not realized--is that Drew Gress's bass line echoes to some extent Jimmy Garrison's pulse from A Love Supreme. However you account for everything, it works.

Pianist George Colligan is one of the real stars of the date. His chordal work sets everything up nicely, and his solos are also enjoyable. I particularly like his use of the electric piano on pieces like "Spring Rounds," recalling prime Hancock and Corea. Though the music is tightly composed with dense lines, there are plenty of openings throughout for intense (if not quite free) improvisation.

Jamie Baum's Moving Forward, Standing Still doesn't swing exactly, but it is not as dry as it may sound. The band in full flight throbs more than anything. It would be a stretch to claim that the Septet breaks new ground on this set, but they do for the most part stick to a path that is less traveled and take an interesting and scenic journey on it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jamie Baum Septet
  • CD Title: Moving Forward, Standing Still
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: OmniTone
  • Rating: Three Stars
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