The Tom Baker Quartet play modern avant-jazz and have been around since 2004. Their new CD Save was released in 2009 and is their second album. The quartet is led by Tom Baker (guitar, fretless guitar) and is joined by Jesse Canterbury (clarinet, bass clarinet), Greg Campbell (drums) and Brian Cobb (bass).
The band often plays a quieter style of jazz with very subtle and delicate phrasings of clarinet and guitar although they do let loose occasionally. Their loose, free form style is augmented with some tighter song structures but it their improvisational approach that is utilized most. High quality musicianship combined with inventive playing make Save an interesting listen although I would have loved to hear a few more hummable melodies but I suppose it is hard to complain when the music is this well played.
My personal favourites include "Time Remembered" and its pretty guitar melody and boasting some excellent fretless guitar and the free jazz style of "Bit By Bitt" where frenetic drumming and disharmonious clarinet work in tandem to reveal the quartet's love of the avant-garde.
Although I prefer a bit more melody in my music there is no denying the Tom Baker Quartet is a talented group of musicians and must be given credit for there modern experimental approach. Those of you who appreciate free jazz with a strong focus towards the avant-garde should probably seek out Save. Others should listen to the samples before taking the plunge.
1. When We Get There (1:42)
2. Bit By Bitt (5:09)
3. After The End Of Time (7:04)
4. Among The Ruins (4:02)
5. Upon Arrival (2:16)
6. Big Bad Gus
7. Time Remembered (5:41)
8. Without A Trace (2:11)
9. Under The Jaguar Sun (7:06)
10. Diminutive (8:21)
11. Relearning Winter (8:35)
12. Save (6:01)
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