by Nate Chinen, WBGO

Chase Baird, “Wait and See”

Tenor saxophonist Chase Baird has been most widely heard in a pair of dynamic bands: Migration, led by drummer and composer Antonio Sánchez; and Venture, formed by vibraphonist Mark Sherman and drummer Mike Clark. But with the release of A Life Between, the second album under his name, Baird seems likely to strengthen his profile as a solo artist.

The album, just out on Soundsabound Records, features Sánchez on drums, Brad Mehldau on piano, Nir Felder on guitar, and Dan Chmielinski on bass. All but one of the tunes is a Baird original, and the exception comes from Schumann’s Dichterliebe.

“Wait and See” is an uptempo blues that begins with just saxophone and drums, in a mode that brings vintage Michael Brecker to mind. This heroic exertion is a preamble to the song’s melody, which arrives about two-and-a-half minutes in, along with the rest of the band.

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