"As the story goes, chops-heavy and always-hip jazz trombonist Josh Roseman recorded this live set as an homage to Ska-legend, trombonist Don Drummond. And while this outing was recorded at Joe Zawinul’s Birdland club in Vienna, Roseman and cohorts remixed the live tapes back in New York. With some EFX-processing and ferocious funk and dub movements, Roseman’s octet shoots for the stars here. Nonetheless, the overall tone is based upon Reggae grooves amid punchy horns choruses and off-kilter, jazz-based variations."
The trombonist flexes some might with brawny soloing escapades on “Greasy Feets Music,” where notions of Tower of Power morphing a house-beat vamp come to mind. In other regions of this disc, the band ventures into some rebel-rousing maneuvers as they speed up various rhythmic metrics to complement the soloists’ steamy exchanges. During “I Should Have Known Better,” the band rides atop looped vocal tracks amid other pieces designed with snappy lines and hard-hitting arrangements. It’s jazz-tinged party music with a Master’s Degree. – Glenn Astarita
Additional information, visit: www.joshroseman.com and www.accuraterecords.com
Josh Roseman has recorded and toured with the creme de la creme of progressive modern jazz: Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman and Don Byron, to name but a few. In and outside of these contexts, Roseman projects a big personality, with a kaleidoscopic, boundless approach to music.
In addition to being a cutting-edge live jazz recording, his upcoming New Constellations is also a high-tech remix album and homage to one of the founding fathers of ska- the visionary trombonist Don Drummond.
Roseman (whose mother is Jamaican), began conceptualizing the New Constellations band while recording with ska pioneers Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso and the Skatalites, a total immersion in Drummond's songwriting and playing legacy. Roseman reflects, “When we played Kingston, Don D's tracks were blasting from sound systems across the countryside every night of the week. You got the sense of what his music meant for the people. There are very few parallels for that in the trombone world, maybe Barry Rogers with Eddie Palmieri, Duke's men or Fred Wesley here in the States.”
Drummond's eccentric phrasing and anthemic melodies struck a chord: “Don's music has helped to complete my image of the instrument. The sound is hardwired for me. As a player, it's part of my roots.”
New Constellations, however, is no mere retro recreation project. Drummond's compositions are reinterpreted, remixed and pushed into open territory here, employing deep dubcraft and the full complement of avant-jazz methods along the way. Back in NYC, Roseman gave the tapes a radical makeover with the help of Brooklyn electro-pranksters, GoodandEvil. The result is a deep, colorful dub-parade, hard grooving with a huge sonic palette. This is new ground for a live album, a mind-bending listening experience melding subversive creativity onstage and in the studio.
The CONSTELLATIONS' front line reunites Roseman with celebrated multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum and introduces young trumpet monster Ambrose Akinmusire. These three horns bring a huge sound and a startlingly expansive viewpoint to the material.
The rhythm team includes Jonathan Maron and Barney McAll, the bass-and-keys tandem from the Groove Collective and Roseman's future-funk ensemble, the JRU. They have ample experience playing sweaty dance clubs and creating intricate electronic tapestries onstage. On New Constellations, McAll displays a deft touch on acoustic piano, tape-delayed melodica, amplified music boxes and a wide-ranging lo-fi sample library. Justin Brown is an audacious, uncategorizable new talent on drums, and he provides ample mystery filling for the group sound. Roseman continues to expand the adventurous territory staked out by his first two CDs. His debut as a leader, Cherry (2001), was a study in interlocking opposites, ingeniously finding common ground between American Top 40 pop culture and the avant-garde. Inspired by Roseman's mentor, the late Lester Bowie, Cherry funks the Beatles, Bacharach and Nirvana and rides Sun Ra to the outer cosmos. Next came his epic studio work, Treats for the Nightwalker (2005), which extended into the frontiers of hip hop and jazz fusion with a full complement of brass and strings.
The adventure continues with the release of New Constellations, a study tracking the dub diaspora from early ska into the digital age. Whatever the elements Roseman melts into his pot, he works on the highest level of skill and creativity. There are plenty of surprises here and nary an unmusical moment.
New Constellations hits streets September 2007 on Accurate Records (AC-5056).
ABOUT JOSH ROSEMAN
Josh is a young road and studio veteran, having recorded fifty to sixty albums as a sideman. He's toured and/or recorded with Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Dave Holland, Don Byron, Lester Bowie, Joey Baron's Baron Down, John Zorn, Uri Caine, Joshua Redman & the SFJAZZ Collective, Oliver Lake, Ron Blake, Steve Turre, Peter Apfelbaum's Heiroglyphics, the Jazz Passengers, Michelle Rosewoman among others. Roseman is perhaps even better known for his work in the “progressive groove” scene, working with Medeski Martin and Wood, Soulive, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Charlie Hunter, Cibo Matto, PHISH's Mike Gordon, the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Sean Lennon, Dead Prez, the Roots, the Skatalites and the Groove Collective, of which he was a founding member. Roseman is very active as a bandleader- He has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe with the Constellations, the Josh Roseman unit (JRU) and a new band, the Execution Quintet. ABOUT ACCURATE RECORDS
Massachusetts-based Accurate records are distributed in the U.S. by Allegro Corporation. The label has released over 100 titles of jazz, rock and film music since 1987, including albums by Morphine, Medeski Martin & Wood, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, the Jazz Mandolin Project, Charlie Kohlhase, Club d'Elf, the Alloy Orchestra and nine titles by the Either/Orchestra, led by label chief Russ Gershon. Josh Roseman played on the very first Accurate title, Dial “E” for Either/Orchestra, in 1986.