Undercurrents

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“If you associate jazz flute with fru-fru supermarket music, then you haven’t heard Jamie Baum. Check the tough-minded, down-right earthy progressions she winds her way through on her new Undercurrents (Konnex).”
— Mark Smoyer, The Boston Phoenix

“(Undercurrents) demonstrates the lyrical charm of Baum’s phrasing, and her agility as an improviser. But what really sets her apart is Baum’s imaginative writing and arranging…”
— Mike Joyce, Washington Post

“A terrific New York-based jazz flutist, As evidenced by her recording Undercurrents, Baum’s music is edgy and challenging, but it doesn’t sacrifice emotions on the altar of modernism. It’s absolutely engaging.”
— Tim Carman, Houston Post

“In the hands of this fearless improviser…the flute is a wicked, double-edged wand capable of filigreed lyricism and slicing contrapuntal lines… check out her recording with Randy Brecker…”
— Gwen Calvier, Hot House Jazz

“Jamie Baum has developed a strong, personal sound with almost flawless intonation…The leader is really rather unique; she is a fine composer, a technically accomplished flautist and she has ideas and imagination in abundance. Many players have some of these qualities but few possess them all.”
— Derek Ansell, Jazz Journal International, (U.K.) 

“She has the strong tone that seems so hard for many flautists, and writes well in a variety of styles… she’s a major new jazz flute voice.”
— Jerome Wilson, Option Music Magazine

  1. Undercurrents
  2. Don’t Gimme That Line
  3. Night Spirits
  4. In Love In Vain (Kern/Robin)
  5. Passacaglia
  6. The Edge
  7. Blue Shoe
  8. Suite As You Are (Parts I & II)

Recorded and Mixed at East Side Sound, NYC, on September 1990 and January 1991

The Jamie Baum Group
Jamie Baum – flute
Randy Brecker – trumpet
Vic Juris – guitar
Salvatore Bonafede – piano
Jay Anderson – bass
Jeff Hirshfield – drums
Dave Douglas – trumpet (“Suite As You Are” only)

Producer – Michael Formanek
Mixed By – Nick Prout
Photography By – Sandra Eisner

Konnex Records ‎– KCD 5034

by Mike Joyce, Washington Post (September 17, 1993)

Among the many good things that can be said for jazz flutist Jamie Baum’s new album, “Undercurrents,” is that you won’t come away from it humming all the melodies. Not unless you’re one helluva of whistler to begin with.

Baum, after all, isn’t the least bit interested in floating simple themes over simple rhythms. On the contrary, her arrangements tend to be so interactive and contrapuntal that anyone who thinks “jazz flute” is an oxymoron is in for a rude but instructive awakening. The title (and opening) cut, for example, derives both its name and its appeal from the shifting undercurrents of rhythms and harmonies that shape and inspire the playing of Baum and guitarist Vic Juris. The probing nature of that piece soon gives way to New Orleans parade beat of “Don’t Gimme That Line,” with drummer Jeff Hirschfield’s shuffling “second line” syncopation underpinning Juris’s spikey blues permutations and the tart, intuitive teamwork of Baum and trumpeter Randy Brecker.

“In Love in Vain” demonstrates the lyrical charm of Baum’s phrasing, just as surely as “Blue Shoes” and “Suite As You Are” demonstrates her agility as an improviser. But what really sets the album apart is Baum’s imaginative writing and arranging — in short, the smarts with which she deploys Juris, Brecker, Hirshfield, bassist Jay Anderson, keyboardist Salvatore Bonafede and her own flute.