Jeremy Udden established himself in Boston as the Lee Konitz-looking-and-sounding saxophonist in Boston’s Either/Orchestra — a bespectacled inventor of light, airy, endless melody. Since decamping for Brooklyn (natch), he’s continued to explore jazz paths (check his and trumpeter John McNeil’s band Hush Point). But he’s also pursued an unclassifiable project named for his Massachusetts hometown, Plainville. The two Plainville discs mixed elements of jazz improvisation with country and rock, abetted by experimental jazz banjo player Brandon Seabrook, oddball keyboards like Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer piano, and Prophet synth, and by the occasional loud guitar. Those two albums mostly hewed to standard song structures and shuffles or waltz rhythms. The new “Folk Art” is more stripped down. Simple little melodies are given a mostly rubato treatment, with Udden’s alto or soprano and Seabrook’s banjo forming the whole front line while Jeremy Stratton’s bass and Kenny Wolleson’s drums dance alongside them. It’s introspective and dreamy, and sometimes Udden seems to be spinning out pure melodic invention from his subconscious. A couple of numbers with the Plainville band round it out with some Rhodes heft and guitar noise, but the dream lingers.
Jeremy Udden brings his band French Connection to Outpost 186 in Cambridge on June 3 along with Robert Stillman and the Archaic Future players.Jon Garelick can be reached at email@example.com.
Because of a reporting error, a review of a CD by Jeremy Udden in Friday’s “g” section misidentified the location of the club Outpost 186. It is in Cambridge.