Matt Baumann does not look like a wild-eyed, avant garde Jazz experimentalist. The 28-year-old St. Louis native who moved here two and a half years ago has the intense, contemplatively quiet demeanor of a bassist, a tall anchoring presence grounding a loud Indie Rock band’s chaos.
But the music of the alto/tenor saxophonist reflects many facets of his diverse creative persona; it seems unfair to call it simply Jazz. Baumann’s artistic dichotomy is clearly exhibited in the Sharonville apartment he shares with his wife, a music teacher at Princeton High School. Posters of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler dominate the living room; the dining room features Warren Zevon’s 1981 Rolling Stone cover, a shot of the singer/songwriter being pulled by disembodied hands to each corner of the photograph.
The most prominent spine in his CD collection belongs to Orphans, Tom Waits’ three-disc odds and sods collection. Although his music doesn’t sound remotely like any of them, Baumann name-checks Coltrane, Ayler, Zevon and Waits (and David S. Ware, Sonny Rollins and Jan Garbarek) with equal reverence.