The opening track on Bridges (Sunnyside Records), the new album from the hugely talented Jamie Baum Septet+ is titled “From the Well.” The song is based on “a scale common to Maqam, Jewish and South Asian music,” according to the liner notes. Composer and leader Baum, who plays flutes and singing bowl, credits help on the song from trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, who also turns in a nimble and intricate solo. The second track, “Song Without Words,” dedicated to Baum’s late father, Seymour James Baum, was influenced by the “Kol Nidre” prayer and features a vocal, a nigun, by ElSaffar and a bass clarinet solo by Sam Sadigursky. The central work on this album is “Honoring Nepal: The Shiva Suite,” a lovely, adventuresome composition in three-parts. Bridges is balm for the ears and soul. — Mordecai Specktor
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