Veteran Swiss drummer Daniel Humair (with Martial Solal's trio in the early '60s and Phil Woods and His European Rhythm Machine in the early '70s) leads a group of talented upstarts on Baby Boom (Sketch). With tenor saxophonist Matthieu Donarier, altoist Christophe Monniot, the remarkable guitarist Manu Codjia and bassist Sebastien Boisseau, the jazz elder showcases his trademark blend of power and elegance on a program of open-ended, harmonically involved originals composed primarily by his sidemen.
Codjia adds an appropriate touch of grunge on Monniot's obtuse "Blanc Casse" while Humair fuels the band with his surging swing factor on Donarier's provocative "Saveur Exquise," which travels from uptempo burner to rubato free-form blowing to crisp angular unison lines. Codjia affects a lyrical Bill Frisell quality on the melancholy Boisseau tune "Wanbli" while the two saxophonists play cat-and-mouse with soprano and sopranino on the frantic romp "La Bourree des Maries," which also showcases Humair's seasoned, very patient approach to constructing a drum solo. Other highlights include the darkly atmospheric "L'Une Rouse" and the oddly swinging waltz-time number "U Maleho Pablo," which is underscored by Codjia's guitar swells and grunge-toned solo style.