Craig Pedersen Quartet Days Like Today

Full of post-Ornette sonorities, Days Like Today has both free jazz looseness and post-bop structure. With opening antiphonal blats ceding to a simultaneously ascending/descending line, the title track opens into a lyrical rubato solo trumpet, which is joined by tom rolls and thrummed bass. Sweet, mariachi-like, muted trumpet/alto togetherness sings on "Little Bird," composed by quartet leader/trumpeter Craig Pedersen. Things are raunchier on the gutsy, blues-inflected "The Baron," with its growly sax/trumpet melody giving way to powerful horn solos. "Early Winter" is more meditative, as it seems to grow out of the Ottawa-based foursome's personal experience with the grey-white season. Pedersen has a wonderful foil in altoist Linsey Wellman, whose phrasing is liquid next to his partner's more chiselled lines. Bassist Joel Kerr and drummer Mike Essoudry are both locked-in tight with each other, loosely responsive to the evolving musical proceedings. On the evidence of this ten-track document, the Craig Pedersen Quartet would be well worth checking out live. (Independent)