Published Oct 08, 2013For flautist and composer Jamie Baum, inspiration is a debt one pays back through love and artistic dedication. That's why the layers of influence at work on In This Life are presented as a tribute to the individuals who have inspired this vibrant music.
"Richie's Lament (for Richie Beirach)" is as exquisite a tribute for the underrated pianist as one could imagine, and "While We Are Here (for Elise NeeDell Babcock)" is a similar expression of gratitude (directed toward an inspiration from another discipline). But the most powerful influences on In This Life are acclaimed Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Baum's travels through South Asia. As such, Jamie Baum explores a personal voice that mingles with the intensity and vocal qualities of the late interpreter of Qawwali music.
This tribute is similar to Baum's previous reworkings of the music of Charles Ives, which acted as an expression of the aesthetic lessons learned through study and focused listening. This is no colonial expedition through an exotic land, and many of the lessons learned in previous travels through Stravinsky, Bartók and Ives are evident in the outstanding orchestrations found on this recording. While many of these compositions do tilt toward the cerebral at times, it rarely obscures the love and dedication that animates these performances. It doesn't hurt that the Septet is stocked with several of New York's finest players, lending their own considerable talent to the overall sound. (Sunnyside Records)