She may be a consistent presence in DownBeat Critics polls, but to call Jamie Baum a jazz flutist is extremely limiting. Her extensive output has included collaborations with Dave Douglas and Kenny Werner as well as forays into Latin and new music, and her latest album, In This Life (Sunnyside), finds its roots in South Asia and the music of the late Pakistani Qawwali vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn. The album features her “Septet +,” the latest iteration of her ever-expanding large ensemble, which features freewheeling playing from trumpeter Amir Elsaffar, guitarist Brad Shepik, and French hornist Chris Kormer, among others. Although the group stretches out and the album is steeped in the avant-garde, In This Life retains an anthemic melodicism rooted in the folk music from which it’s drawn.
Baum’s “little big band” last came to the Gallery in February, fresh off the release of In This Life (our preview of that show has more info on Baum, including an excerpt from an interview with NPR). The band’s Friday performance will likely showcase some of that material, but you can expect more chances to be taken with the now lived-in compositions. For a taste of what the band’s doing these days, check out this footage from the this year’s NYC Winter Jazzfest, which features the sprawling “Monkeys of Gokarna Forest” as well as Baum’s true-to-life story of how the piece got its name.
The Jamie Baum Septet + performs this Friday, October 24th, 2014, at The Jazz Gallery. The band features Baum on flutes, Amir Elsaffar on trumpet, Douglas Yates on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, Chris Komer on French horn, Brad Shepik on guitar, John Escreet on piano, Zack Lober on bass, and Jeff Hirshfield on drums. Sets are at 8 and 10 p.m., and tickets are $22.00 ($12.00 for Members). Purchase tickets here.